August 29, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada
No one should ever be subject to acts of violence. However, incidents of sexual assault on school, college, and university campuses remain one of the most often reported types of violence. As well, nearly half of all self-reported sexual assaults are committed against women aged 15 to 24.
A major milestone toward the Government of Canada’s five-year, $5.5 million commitment to develop a framework to address and prevent gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions was made when Possibility Seeds Consulting launched its Courage to Act: Developing a National Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions report today at Ryerson University. The report was developed through funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada, and identifies recommendations, promising practices, and gaps in preventing and addressing gender-based violence on post-secondary campuses in Canada.
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced an investment of up to $1.5 million to address gaps in resources to support post-secondary institutions in preventing and addressing gender based violence on their campuses, as identified in the report. Over the next two years, this investment will contribute to the development of toolkits and resources and the establishment of communities of practice. The funding will also support a web portal which will ensure that the tools that are developed are accessible and adaptable to campuses across the country.
The report was developed in close collaboration with Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Advisory Committee on the Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions, as well as through engagement with over 300 diverse stakeholders across the country, including representatives of student groups, colleges, universities, unions, community organizations, survivor advocates and front-line workers across Canada. It provides a strong starting point for stakeholders to begin taking further action to prevent and address gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions, and identifies key next steps necessary to fully develop a Framework and begin implementation.
The Government of Canada is committed to engaging with provinces and territories to ensure that the Framework is complementary and supportive of the extensive efforts that have already been made across the country.
“Going off to college, CEGEP or university is an important milestone that will shape someone’s life for years to come. For students and their families, it’s critical that our campuses provide a safe environment to learn. Sexual violence has no place on Canadian campuses and remains all too prevalent. That’s why I want to thank Possibility Seeds Consulting and the members of the Advisory Committee for their tireless efforts in engaging stakeholders across the country and developing recommendations on the best approaches to preventing and addressing gender-based violence on Canadian campuses. The additional funds announced today will address some of the gaps and implement some of the recommendations in the report in order to ensure the safety of Canada’s youth while they complete their studies.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality
Today, only 28 per cent of Canadians fully understand what constitutes sexual consent (down from 33 per cent in 2015).
Of all self-reported sexual assault incidents in Canada, nearly half (47 per cent) were committed against women aged 15 to 24, and 41 per cent of all sexual assaults across Canada were reported by students.
According to police-reported data, reports of sexual assault saw considerable increases after #MeToo went viral in October 2017, with sexual assault reports on school, college, or university property nearly doubling (+87%) compared with the average number reported per quarter before #MeToo (439 versus 235 incidents).