Genuine concern or lip service: sexual violence policies in Canadian post-secondary institutions
sexual violence, post secondary education, policies
Post-secondary institutions are intended to be safe spaces where students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to experience and engage in critical thought and discussion. When critical thought and discussion occurs, it may raise awareness, give context, and challenge assumptions which have potential to shift the narrative around big issues. Although post-secondary institutions foster the intellectual growth of its members, they are also environments where its members face sexual violence. While sexual violence has always been present in these institutions, it is only more recently that sexual violence along with its impacts on victims received closer attention from media. This media attention resulted in a public pressure which demands post-secondary institutions to create and implement policies and educational programming that specifically addresses sexual violence. Other policies and processes, however, such as Student Codes of Conduct the criminal justice system, already designate forms of sexual violence as intolerable or illegal. Due to the massive public pressure and demand for policies which specifically address sexual violence and sexual violence only, it is crucial to examine how or if these policies add or contribute to the policy or legislative context in Canada. To examine these policies, this research investigates campus community members’ knowledge of and perceptions of sexual violence policies in the context of Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Presented on April 23, 2019 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
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