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15 December 2016

To: Faculty and Staff

From: Nadia Singh, Associate University Secretary, Secretariat

Subject: Policy 42 - Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence

Date: 1 January 2017

New policy, Policy 42 – Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence and Sexual Violence Response Protocol and Procedures

On March 8, 2016, the Ontario government passed Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016.  Among its requirements, the Act requires publicly assisted post-secondary institutions to have their own standalone sexual violence policy that must undergo a review every three years.  The deadline for the implementation of college and university sexual assault policies was set at 1 January 2017.

The Act requires all post-secondary educational institutions who receive regular and ongoing operating funds from the government to implement a policy which accommodates the needs of students affected by sexual assault.  The mandatory content of the sexual policy includes:

  • Information about supports, services and key contacts at the university or college for students affected by sexual violence as well as information about supports and services in the community
  • Advice to students that appropriate interim measures will be provided for those affected by sexual violence, including key contacts who will assist in providing interim measures.
  • Advice to students that they are not required to report an incident of, or make a complaint about sexual violence in order to obtain the supports, services and interim measures referred to in the policy
  • Detailed information for responding to or addressing incidents or complaints of sexual violence

On 25 October 2016, the Board of Governors approved new Policy 42 – Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence and on 2 December 2016 the Board of Governors approved the accompanying Sexual Violence Response Protocol and Procedures. 

New Policy 42 also applies to faculty and staff at the University and sets out the process to be followed for reporting an incident or complaint about sexual violence and for determining whether the University will undertake a formal investigation.  Complainants are not required to participate in an investigation, and will have access to interim measures where appropriate.  New Policy 42 also introduces the University’s Sexual Violence Response Coordinator, who will be able to assist any member of the University community who is affected by sexual violence in accessing interim measures, support and services available to them.

Any questions regarding the new Policy 42, and the Response Protocol and Procedures can be addressed to Mahejabeen Ebrahim, Director of Equity.

For more information on the Policy Renewal Project, please visit the Policy Post, which can be found on the website of the Secretariat, https://uwaterloo.ca/secretariat-general-counsel/4-august-2016-policy-post.