By Gabrielle Provencher, Social Media Volunteer at WomanACT
York University has recently completed a survey with undergraduate students about their knowledge around sexual assault policy, procedure and response on campus. This initiative is part of the ‘Silence is Violence’ movement which aims to radically alter the culture of institutional violence on university campuses across Canada.
The survey has been completed by 406 students from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LAPS) during the winter semester of 2016. Shockingly, the survey has found undergraduate students unaware of sexual assault resources on their campus. Indeed, 88% of respondents indicated they have received information about sexual assault at York while 78% report they do not know where to seek further information on the topic.
Furthermore, the findings also raised concerns about greater risk of victimization for visible minorities. One participant expressed his/her opinion on the fact that institutional responses to sexual assault could be “counter-productive” and lead to “racial profiling” leading to a false sense of security on campus when it comes to reporting.
Following the study, Silence is Violence concluded that these findings demonstrate the need for an intersectional strategy to identify and respond to safety needs of a diverse undergraduate student population.
Download the full report here
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