Message from Dan Patterson: New sexual assault training for employees

Dan PattersonI am writing to inform you of the next step in our important work in the area of preventing and responding to sexual assault.

I’m pleased to announce that we have launched a comprehensive training program for all staff.  The training is mandatory for all employees. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete, and can be easily accessed via Blackboard.

Last spring we joined all Ontario colleges in the development and roll-out of a comprehensive, stand-alone Sexual Assault Practice and Protocol.  Our practice and protocol is based on a provincial template that was developed in consultation with students and staff across Ontario’s 24-colleges, legal experts, the Ontario Women’s Directorate, government stakeholders and others. Like our practice and protocol, our training was developed in consultation with all Ontario colleges and other stakeholders, and it is designed to equip all Niagara College employees with the resources required to effectively handle the disclosure or discovery of sexual assault.

When we launched the Practice and Protocol, we also committed to developing educational awareness initiatives and training for staff and we continue to follow through on those important commitments.

This past fall we launched the successful Consent is Key campaign, an educational initiative that focuses on the importance of understanding consent as key in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence. The training we’ve announced today is the next step in this process.

If you haven’t already, I also encourage you to review our Sexual Assault Practice and Protocol, which outlines the responsibilities of staff who witness or become aware of sexual violence, the process for reporting incidents of sexual violence, and the supports and resources available to survivors of sexual assault.

These initiatives are part of our commitment to provide a healthy and safe learning environment and workplace, and to support those who experience sexual assault or sexual violence. Please take the time to complete this important training as soon as possible. If you have questions, please contact your manager or Graham Shanks, manager, Environmental Health and Safety via email or at ext. 7417.

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