Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Protocol

1. If you have been sexually assaulted:

  1. After an assault has occurred, go to a safe place. This might be the home or room of a friend or family member, residence staff, or any place where you can find physical safety and receive emotional support.
  2. If you feel unsafe, wish to report the assault, or want to discuss any aspect of your experience, individuals residing in the Niagara Region are strongly encouraged to immediately contact the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre using their 24-hour crisis line at 905-682-4584.
  3. If you have any immediate security/safety needs or believe there is an ongoing threat to others in our community, you are encouraged to immediately contact 911, and Campus Security Services for assistance at 905-735-2211, ext. 6999.
  4. The Anonymous Third Party Report program is managed by the Investigative Analysis Unit of the Niagara Regional Police Service in partnership with the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Program – Niagara and the Niagara Regional Sexual Assault Centre. This program gives survivors of sexual assault the opportunity to anonymously provide police with information relating to a sexual assault and receive counselling and support following a sexual assault.This option also gives the survivor the choice to decide whether or not they may want to be contacted at a later date, for example, in the event of a trial or investigation.

A number of other community-based resources are available to you on a 24/7 basis, including:

2. How to seek support and accommodation:

If you have experienced or have been affected by sexual violence and require support and accommodation, please call the Office of the Director, Student Services at 905-735-2211 ext. 7370. If you want to speak to someone directly, please go to SE102A (Welland Campus) or W102 (NOTL Campus). You do not need to file a formal complaint to obtain supports, services and accommodation from the College.

Anyone who has experienced sexual violence has the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect;
  • be believed;
  • be informed about on and off-campus services and resources;
  • decide whether or not to access available services and to choose those services they feel will be most beneficial;
  • decide whether to report to campus security and/or local police;
  • have an on-campus investigation with the institution’s full cooperation;
  • have a safety plan, and;
  • have reasonable and necessary actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the respondent(s).

3. If you would like to file a formal complaint:

  • The choice to report or not report the incident is entirely We recognize that it is often difficult to disclose and report incidents of sexual violence, however we strongly encourage you to do so.
  • If the respondent is another member of the College community, you may file a complaint under the Workplace Violence Prevention
  • If the incident involves a student, the Office of the Director, Student Services can
  • Individuals who have experienced sexual violence may also wish to press charges under the Criminal The Office of the Director, Student Services can also assist you with contacting the local Police.

4. What to do if you witness sexual violence:

  1. If an act of sexual violence is occurring, first call 911 and notify Campus Security at 905-735-2211 extension 6999.
  2. If you have witnessed sexual violence, please call the Office of the Director, Student Services at 905-735-2211 extension 7370, who will assist by providing resources and necessary support. If you wish to speak to someone directly, visit Room SE102A (Welland Campus) or W102 (NOTL Campus).
  3. Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence, but do not need to report incidents of sexual violence to obtain supports, services or accommodations.
  4. Off-campus reporting resources are also available to you 24/7, including:

5. What to do if someone discloses allegations of sexual violence

  1. A person may choose to confide in someone about an act of sexual violence, such as a student, instructor, teaching assistant, coach, or staff from housing, health, counselling, or security. An individual who has experienced sexual violence may also disclose to staff or faculty members when seeking support and/or academic accommodation. A supportive response involves:
    • listening without judgement and accepting the disclosure as true;
    • communicating that sexual violence is never the responsibility of the survivor;
    • helping the individual identify and/or access available on- or off-campus services, including emergency medical care and counselling;
    • respecting the individual’s right to choose the services they feel are most appropriate and to decide whether to report to the Police and/or the Director, Student Services;
    • recognizing that disclosing can be traumatic and an individual’s ability to recall the events may be limited;
    • respecting the individual’s choices as to what and how much is disclosed about the experience, and;
    • making every effort to respect confidentiality and anonymity.
  2. If disclosure is made to faculty or staff by a student seeking support or academic accommodation, the faculty or staff should refer the student to the Office of the Director, Student Services, Room SE102A, Welland Campus or at 905-735-2211 ext. 7370. Student Success Centre staff will ensure that the student receives the necessary academic and other accommodations.
  3. If a member of Niagara College staff becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence against another member of the College community, staff is required to immediately report the alleged incident to the Director, Human Resources (if survivor or respondent is staff or visitor), or the Office of the Director, Student Services (if survivor or respondent is a student).

6. Communicating with individuals who have experienced sexual violence

Sensitivity and timely communication with individuals who have experienced sexual violence and their family members (when an individual consents to this communication) is a central part of the College’s first response to sexual violence. To facilitate communication, the College will:

  1. ensure that designated employees in the Student Services Division, Human Resources Division, Security Services, Residence Life Department, and Student Administrative Council who are knowledgeable about sexual violence, are responsible for advocacy on campus on behalf of employees, students and any other member of the College community who have experienced sexual violence;
  2. ensure designated employees respond in a prompt, compassionate, and personalized fashion, and;
  3. ensure that the person who has experienced sexual violence and the respondent are provided with reasonable updates about the status of the College’s investigation of the incident when such investigations are undertaken.

7. Roles and responsibilities of the College community

While everyone on campus has a role to play in responding to incidents of sexual violence, some campus members will have specific responsibilities which might include:

  1. on-campus health supports to provide psychological and emotional support, assist with safety planning and make referrals to other services, including medical services;
  2. faculty, staff and administrators to facilitate academic accommodations and other academic needs of those who have been affected by sexual violence or who have experienced sexual violence, e.g. extensions on assignments;
  3. residence staff to facilitate safe living arrangements where applicable;
  4. student operated sexual violence services to provide peer supports;
  5. Human Resources to assist with any incidents relating to employees, and;
  6. Security Services to assist with investigations and gathering evidence, to implement measures to reduce sexual violence on campus, and to collaborate with local police where appropriate.

Information about these resources is available in Appendix B of this policy.

8. How will the College respond to a report of sexual violence?

Where a complaint of sexual violence has been reported to the College, the College will exercise care to protect and respect the rights of both the complainant and respondent. The College understands that individuals who have experienced sexual violence may wish to control whether and how their experience will be dealt with by the police and/or the College. In most circumstances, the person will retain this control. A person who has experienced sexual violence may choose not to request an investigation and has the right not to participate in any investigation that may occur.

In certain circumstances however, the College may be required to initiate an internal investigation and/or inform the police of the need for a criminal investigation, even without the person’s consent, if the College believes that the safety of other members of the College community is at risk. The confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritized in these circumstances.

A report of sexual violence may also be referred to the police at the complainant’s request, where the persons involved are not members of the College community or otherwise when appropriate. In some matters for example, the College may have limited access to witnesses and other evidence. The College will provide complainants with information about their choices to support informed decision-making.

The College adheres to the following in investigating and making decisions about formal complaints. If an entitlement set out below conflicts with something set out in another College policy, the entitlement set out below shall prevail:

Where the respondent is a student, the Director, Student Services is responsible for addressing the need for interim measures, for deciding whether sexual violence or another form of misconduct has occurred and for determining the appropriate penalty and other remedial measures. The supporting investigation is ordinarily conducted by the Student Rights and Responsibilities Officer, though the College may decide to use an external investigator when it deems it to be appropriate. It may, for example, retain an external investigator if necessary to complete an investigation in a timely manner or to avoid an apparent conflict of interest. The Director, Student Services will consult with the Director, Human Resources where the complainant is an employee.

Respondents may file an appeal under the Student Discipline Associated with Disruptive Student Behaviour and Appeal of Disciplinary Decisions policies. Appeals are determined by a committee established in accordance with the Appeal of Disciplinary Decisions policy.

9. Multiple Proceedings:

Where criminal and/or civil proceedings are commenced in respect to allegations of sexual violence, the College may conduct its own independent investigation into such allegations and make its own determination subject to considerations about fairness that arise as a result of the parallel proceedings. Where there is an ongoing criminal investigation, the College will cooperate with the local police.

10. Procedural Fairness:

Except as otherwise stated in this procedure, the College provides those whose rights, privileges or interests may be affected by a decision with notice of the decision to be made, disclosure of facts relevant to the decision and an opportunity to be heard. The College may decide how it meets these obligations in different circumstances, and will do so with a view to providing a fair process and making a sound decision. The College has the right to withhold disclosure early on in its process to obtain a person’s independent recollection of events.

11. Support and Recognition:

Complainants and respondents may attend meetings with a single (non-participating) support person. The College considers requests to attend meetings with additional support persons and with legal or other representation on a case-by-case basis, with a view to promoting a fair and expeditious process. The College may still question and expect direct answers from an individual who is represented.

12. Interim Measures:

The rights and privileges of a respondent may be restricted by the College before it makes a final determination about the alleged misconduct. For example, a respondent may be moved from a complainant’s residence, restricted from entering certain parts of campus and restricted from attending class.

Such interim measures will be imposed only as necessary to meet the needs of complainants and person who report incidents of sexual violence or otherwise under the College’s Behavioural Intervention and Risk Management Policy. The College will also take steps to minimize the impact of interim measures on respondents.

Interim measures are not punishment and do not represent a finding of misconduct. The College may impose interim measures immediately, without a hearing. Respondents may ask the College to review a decision to impose interim measures, but only to address the impact of the imposed measure and the preference for other alternatives.

13. Outcomes:

The College will determine, on a balance of probabilities, what happened and whether it constitutes sexual violence or another form of misconduct. If the College finds there has been misconduct, it will determine the appropriate penalty. Students may face discipline, up to and including expulsion. Employees may face discipline, up to and including discharge.

Contractors, suppliers, volunteers and/or visitors may face penalties, cancellation of contracts and other sanctions.

14. Written Decision:

The College will inform the complainant and respondent of the results of its investigation in writing. The written decision summary will include a brief description of any corrective action that the College has taken or will take as a result of its investigation.

Related Documents

Policies
  • NC500 Harassment and Discrimination
  • NC500 Behavioural Intervention and Risk Management
  • NC500 Workplace Violence Prevention

Procedures
  • NC500 Behavioural Intervention and Risk Management