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Gender-Based and
Sexual Violence

You’re not alone.
We are here to support you.

All members of Huron’s community have the right to work and study in an environment that is free from any form of sexual violence.

Sexual violence of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Huron University College works to ensure individuals feel safe and enable them to have the resources available to them, including the ability to make a report in good faith about sexual violence that they have experienced or witnessed.


Sarah Read,
Director Community Safety Office
519-438-7224 ext 854

Wellness Centre, Office #6


Please use this form only if you have experienced an incident of sexual violence and you wish to report it to Huron. A report initiates a formal process under Huron’s Policy on Sexual Violence (PDF).

Extension – 555
Available on any wall phone

Security Office
(previously the Information Center)


Get Help

If you have been impacted by sexual violence, it’s never your fault. We believe you.
If you’re not sure what to do or where to turn, a good place to start is talking with Huron’s Director of Community Safety, or our Wellness team.  Both offices are located in Huron’s Wellness Centre, and you can talk with our trained staff about what happened to you. We are here to listen and, when you’re ready, we can give you information about what your options are, how you can find more support, and what next steps you might consider taking. We support students who have experienced  gender-based and sexual violence on or off campus, or before you came to Huron.

There is no right way to feel.
It is normal for your mood and energy to vary considerably. Try to keep your environment compassionate, supportive and low-pressure.

It may take time.
Your healing process may take longer than you expect. Everyone’s journey is different. Your story is your own to share, on your own terms. You can choose not to tell anyone, to tell only a few people, or to tell people in stages. It is up to you if, when, and how you want to share.

You are not alone. Reach out.
Don’t forget that you can have someone you trust with you before, during and after any meetings or appointments.




Anyone at Huron can receive a disclosure of Gender-Based and Sexual Violence. In the event that a survivor discloses their experience(s) to you, please know that you are in a special position to act as a resource. Provide them with a compassionate level of support that refers them to information about options and resources.

A supportive response involves:

  • Listening without judgment; and accepting the disclosure as  true
  • Communicating that gender-based/sexual violence is never the responsibility or fault 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 or not to report their experience;
  • 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 they disclose about their experiences; and
  • Making every effort to respect confidentiality and anonymity



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Reporting Options

FAQs about the Policy and Reporting Options

What is gender-based / sexual violence? How is it different from sexual harassment and domestic violence?

Huron partners with ANOVA to provide education around sexual violence.  Anova states “Sexual violence is any form of sexualized behavior that occurs without consent. This includes sexual assault (unwanted sexual touching), as well as non-physical violence such as street harassment (ie. “cat-calling”), stalking, non-consensual sharing of sexual images (ie. “revenge porn”), and sexual harassment

Domestic violence is abuse, control, and/or violence that occurs in the context of a family or partnership. Abuse is any act used intentionally to harm, injure, control, coerce, threaten, intimidate or create fear for safety in another person. It can happen between intimate partners, between siblings, between parents and children, and/or between adult children and elderly parents.

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome comments and/or actions directed at someone (or about someone) because of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Jokes about someone’s appearance, participating in rumours about someone’s sexuality or perceived sexual skill, unwanted solicitations or sexual advances, demanding hugs or invading personal space, and derogatory language can all be forms of sexual harassment.”

Consent is the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. Consent:

  • Is never assumed or implied
  • Is not silence or the absence of “no”
  • Cannot be given if the victim is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or is unconscious
  • Can never be obtained through threats or coercion
  • Can be revoked at any time
  • Cannot be obtained if the perpetrator abuses a position of trust, power or authority.

Consenting to one kind or instance of sexual activity does not mean that consent is given to any other sexual activity or instance. No one consents to being sexually assaulted.

What if I was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident?

You are not to blame. Intoxication and drug use are not an invitation for sexual activity. Without your consent, and capacity to give consent, any sexual activity is sexual violence.

What if the gender-based or sexual violence behaviour occurred on-line?

Huron’s sexual violence policy can be applied to sexual violence acts that occur online or using electronic media.

Huron’s Gender-Based / Sexual Violence Policy and Procedure

Who is covered by Huron’s policy against Sexual Violence?

The policy applies to all members of the Huron community, including staff, students, faculty, volunteers, contractors, visitors/guests and members of the Executive Board.  As long as the Respondent (perpetrator) is an active, registered/enrolled member of the Huron Community, the policy applies, regardless of whether the Complainant/Survivor is a member of the Huron Community.

Is Huron’s Gender-Based / Sexual Violence policy the same as Western’s?

Huron recognizes the close link that our community has with Western, and while our policies are closely aligned, Huron’s sexual violence policy is its own document created to meet the needs of our Huron community.

Where can I find Huron’s full Gender-Based / Sexual Violence policy?

The full policy document PDF can be found here:

You can also find a link to it, as well as other information, on the Community Safety Page of Huron’s website:

You can also locate the policy, as well as other Huron policies here:

What do the terms “Survivor”, “Complainant” , “Respondent” and “Designated authority” mean?

Huron recognizes the close link that our community has with Western, and while our policies are closely

A survivor is any person who has experienced sexual violence, including individuals who self-identify as a victim or victim/survivor.

A complainant is an individual who has been the target of violent behaviour and files a complaint of sexual violence with the University

A respondent/perpetrator is an individual who is alleged to have committed an act of sexual violence in a report made by a survivor.

A designated authority is the senior administrator at Huron who will receive the formal complaint.  If the complaint is substantiated, he/she will decide which sanction or penalty will be imposed.

Getting help if you have experienced gender-based / sexual violence

Where can I get help?

You can contact Sarah Read, Huron’s Director of Community Safety.  Sarah will offer you support regardless of whether you experienced gender-based violence on or off campus.  Sarah can offer a variety of services, based on what information you want and need, including accommodation requests, referrals to internal and external counselling, safety planning and reporting options.  The decision of next steps will always be yours and you will never be pressured one way or the other.

Sarah’s office is in Huron’s Wellness Centre and you can reach her at the confidential email or by calling 519-438-7224 ext 854.  

You can also contact one of our Wellness team members, counsellors Heidi or Sonja, to talk, seek counselling, advice, accommodations and referrals to external partners.

Heidi and Sonja are located in Huron’s Wellness Centre and you can connect with them by emailing

Will it be confidential if I speak to someone?

We know that confidentiality is particularly important to those who have disclosed Gender-Based and Sexual Violence. All Huron staff and/or faculty will protect the confidentiality of all those involved, to the extent possible.  There are requirements under law that may obligate a staff or service provider to disclose your information, so it is best to discuss the limitations of confidentiality prior to disclosure, if possible.

Do I have to share the name of the perpetrator / other person(s) if I just want to talk to someone?

No, you are never obligated to share more information then you are comfortable providing, and Huron will provide you with support regardless of how you want to proceed.  However, given that your safety and the safety of Huron’s community is of utmost importance to us, a service provider may ask you whether you would be willing to share that information, if it is felt that you or someone else is in jeopardy.

What if I’m not sure if what happened was really an act of gender-based or sexual violence?

If there is any question regarding the event, speaking to a professional is a good idea. This could be by calling the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program, visiting a physician or counsellor, or talking with Huron’s Wellness team, Community Safety Office or Western’s Special Constable Service.

Having a conversation with a friend or relative that you are comfortable with may help as well.  Follow your gut, and if you think it was sexual violence, consider speaking with a professional.

Where can I receive medical treatment?

Emergency, as well as non-emergency, care related to sexual violence may be received at:
Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program. Go to St. Joseph’s Health Care London (Urgent Care), 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON (hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or call 519-646-6100 ext. 64224. After hours call 519 646-6100, press “0” and ask switchboard to page the nurse-on-call for sexual assault and domestic violence.

Non-emergency care is also available for students at Western’s Student Health Care (UCC 11) or with your own family doctor.

What if I want the morning-after pill?

The morning-after pill, also known as Plan B, can be obtained in three ways:

  • If you are seen at the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program, they can provide the morning-after pill to you.
  • Any pharmacy, including the on-campus pharmacies, can provide the morning-after pill over the counter after a discussion with the pharmacist.
  • You can book an appointment to see a doctor at Western’s Student Health Care or with your own family doctor to discuss options and to get a prescription from that doctor. The prescription’s cost may be covered by your drug plan and that is why a prescription may be beneficial to obtain.

What if I am concerned about sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STI/STD’s)?

If you are seen at the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre, they will conduct this testing.

Also, Western’s Student Health Care or your family doctor can provide the full range of STI testing and counselling. After a discussion with a doctor, the tests that could be included are HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis and VDRL (syphilis). If there is any reason why HIV contraction is a concern, medications need to be started within 72 hours of the sexual assault. Some testing needs to be repeated several months after the assault, so future appointments for further testing should be booked as well.

What if I need to take time off school and / or need to defer a text / exam / assignment because of what happened? Who should I talk to?

Following a disclosure of gender-based/sexual violence, Huron will support you wherever possible.  You are encouraged to contact Sarah Read, the Director of Community Safety at the confidential email or 519-438-7224 x854 who will act as a liaison to support accommodations (academic, residence and/or employment).

Note that there may be limitations to the availability of accommodations based on the individual circumstances of each case. Sarah will provide information and details as to what is possible.

Reporting gender-based / sexual violence

Do I have to file a report to receive help or support from Huron?

Absolutely not. A survivor is not required to report an incident of, or make a complaint about, sexual violence, in order to obtain the supports, services and accommodation available at Huron.

When would the London Police Service (LPS) become involved? How do they work with Western’s Special Constable Service (WSCS)?

Western’s Special Constable Service (WSCS) is obligated to notify London Police Service (LPS) of sexual assault incidents. LPS investigates incidents of sexual assault unless the victim/survivor indicates that they do not want them involved. 

LPS will coordinate with WSCS when conducting their investigations to help ensure the safety of the victim/survivor and witnesses.

In Ontario, police are required by law to investigate and potentially lay charges in cases of domestic violence. Prior to speaking with police you may wish to schedule a meeting with the Director of Community Safety to understand the differences in reporting sexual assault and domestic violence, or if you need help reporting – you decide if you want make a report to the police.

What are my options for filing a complaint of gender-based or sexual violence?

You can report an incident of gender-based or sexual violence to the police (though Western’s Special Constable Service or the London Police Service).  You can seek assistance in reporting or get information about the process from Sarah Read, Huron’s Director of Community Safety.  You can reach her at her confidential email or by calling 519-438-7224 ext 854

You can also report an incident of gender-based or sexual violence to the University.  Filing a report triggers a formal procedure which includes an investigation.

How do I report an incident of gender-based or sexual violence to Huron?

If you are filing an official complaint with the University, you need to provide information such as the date of the incident, names of the people involved, names of witnesses, etc.  This information can be submitted in four ways:

  1. If the incident involves another student, you need to submit a complaint in writing to Jennifer Flynn Clarke, the Associate Vice President of Students (AVP Students) at her confidential email

    If the incident involves a staff or faculty member, you need to submit a complaint in writing to Adri Britz, Director, Human Resources.  She can be reached at the confidential email
  2. You can contact and advise Sarah Read, the Director of Community Safety to file a formal complaint on your behalf.  She will then make arrangements to take a formal statement from you and provide you with information about the process.
  3. If you have reported an incident of gender-based or sexual violence to the police, you can request a copy of your formal statement and submit it to the Director, Human Resources, AVP Students, or the Director of Community Safety
  4. You can submit a complaint online here, and the Director, Community Safety will follow up with you.

Please note that it may impact Huron’s ability to conduct an investigation if you remain anonymous when filing a report.

What happens after I make a report?

Once you file of a formal complaint, Huron will appoint a qualified, professionally trained, internal or external investigator(s) to investigate the complaint.

A copy of the Formal Complaint will be provided to the Respondent. The Respondent will be allowed to respond to the complaint, in person with the investigator where a statement will be taken and a copy of that response will be provided to you. 

A Complainant has the right to withdraw from the investigation process at any time, but Huron may still be obligated to continue the investigation even in the absence of the Complainant.

How will the university decide whether a complaint of sexual violence is investigated?

Huron will investigate all formal complaints.

How will Huron protect me from retaliation or threat of retaliation for reporting?

All employees and students have a right to be free of retaliation or threat of retaliation as a result of being involved in a complaint of gender-based/sexual violence. Retaliation will be deemed to be harassment and dealt with in accordance with Huron’s Harassment, Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Prevention Policy.

Can my personal information be kept confidential if I file a report (not a disclosure) with Huron? Can I submit an anonymous report?

When you file a complaint with Huron, formal procedures are triggered, and confidentiality can no longer be maintained.  Your personal information will be shared with the respondent to ensure procedural fairness.

What if the incident happened off campus, but the perpetrator / other person is another student / staff / faculty member of Huron?

Huron’s gender-based and sexual violence policy applies to any incident where the respondent is a student/staff/faculty member of Huron, regardless of whether the incident happened on or off campus. 

What if the perpetrator / other person is a student / staff / faculty of Western, Brescia or Kings?

The Director, Community Safety at Huron can assist you in providing information and options open to you if the perpetrator is not part of the Huron community.

What are interim measures and when can they be applied?

Interim measures are steps put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of a survivor and other members of Huron’s community.  Interim measures may be imposed immediately upon receipt of the complaint, or at any time during the investigation process.

Interim measures may include moving the respondent, issuing a temporary suspension, trespassing the respondent, etc.  The specific Interim measures implemented will be dependent on the particular safety issues inherent in each complaint.

Can I withdraw my report?

You have the right to withdraw from the investigation at any time, but Huron may still be obligated to continue the investigation even in the absence of your participation.

Investigations of gender-based / sexual violence

Can I choose not to request an investigation? Will I have to participate in the investigation?

You can choose not to file a formal complaint.  If an investigation does take place, you may choose not to participate, or withdraw your participation at any point.

Who is responsible for investigating reports?

Huron will appoint a qualified, professionally trained, internal or external investigator(s) to investigate the complaint.

How will I know what is happening with the investigative process?

The investigator will provide you with information pertaining to the status of the investigation.  As well, the Wellness Team at Huron can be your support during the process and provide you with information.

Why is the respondent entitled to receive a copy of the report?

As a matter of procedural fairness, the respondent receives a copy of the report so that they can know the nature of the report against them and provide a meaningful response. The respondent then provides a written response that is shared with the survivor.

What are the possible outcomes of an investigation?

If, after an investigation, the investigator(s) finds that on a balance of probabilities that gender-based or sexual violence occurred, the University designate: the Director, Human Resources (involving a staff or faculty member) or the AVP, Students (involving two students), will determine what corrective action is to be taken, if any.

Sanctions or actions available to the designated authority range from a formal letter of reprimand to expulsion from the university.

What will happen when the investigation ends?

The investigator will provide a report to a University designate: the Director, Human Resources (involving a staff or faculty member) or the AVP, Students (involving two students). That individual will be responsible for making a decision, based on the balance of probabilities, whether sexual misconduct did or did not occur. Based on the outcome of that decision, the designate will determine the appropriate sanctions, as applicable.

The designate will provide a written summary of the outcome of the investigation and their decision to the survivor and alleged perpetrator. Because Provincial legislated privacy laws cover universities and employment, the extent of what may be communicated to those involved in any complaint will be balanced against the need to comply with the privacy rights of those involved.


What if the perpetrator lives in my residence?

At any point, you can talk to your Don, Head Don or either of Huron’s Residence Life Managers to report what has happened.  They will come to you, listen, and can give you your options about seeking medical treatment at the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program and/or counselling at our Wellness Centre.  They will also encourage you to speak with the Director of Community Safety to talk about all of your reporting options going forward.

If the perpetrator is deemed a safety risk to you or other residents, Interim measures may be put in place that could include a mandatory move to a different residence building, a termination of their residence contract, and/or a Notice of Trespass to Huron’s residences. 

What if the perpetrator is in one of my classes?

If the perpetrator is in one of your classes, Interim measures can be put in place in support of your safety on a temporary basis, pending the outcome of an investigation. Arrangements may include changing classes, working from home, extensions, etc.  More formal and on-going actions may be undertaken after an investigation, including the perpetrator being permanently removed from the class.

You can contact the Director of Community Safety to discuss these options and the process.

What if the perpetrator is a colleague or supervisor?

Everyone at Huron has the right to work in a safe environment.  Huron’s Gender-Based and Sexual Violence policy applies to staff and faculty as well as students.

What if I don’t feel safe? How can Huron help me?

You can speak with Sarah Read, Huron’s Director of Community Safety, who can create a detailed and personalized safety plan with you, and refer you to other resources both on and off campus.

Supporting someone else who has experienced gender-based / sexual violence

What if someone I know discloses an experience of sexual violence?

First, make sure that you are both safe.  You are in a special position to act as a resource. Provide them with a compassionate level of support that refers them to information about options and resources. Follow the link here to learn more about helping a friend.

Prevention at Huron

What is Huron doing to prevent gender-based and sexual violence?

In 2018, Huron began offering its own Wellness services, including counselling and chaplaincy services, to provide support and programming to Huron students, including those who have been subject to gender-based and sexual violence at any point in their lives.

In 2019, Huron created the Community Safety Office (CSO), which is independent of Western’s Special Constable Service, and only the 2nd of its kind in Canada.  The CSO’s offers training, awareness and preventative programming related to safety issues, especially sexual and gender based violence.   

In 2021, Huron revised its Gender-Based and Sexual Violence policy along with procedures for responding to incidents of sexual violence.

Huron has implemented numerous and ongoing measures to increase the physical safety of our campus.

Does Huron offer training for students, staff or faculty on gender-based and sexual violence issues?

Yes! Huron is one of the only Universities in Canada to have implemented a mandatory gender-based and sexual violence disclosure training for ALL staff, faculty and student leaders.  We partner with ANOVA to bring other training to campus on issues like consent, bystander / upstander awareness and violence prevention.  We offer various information, training, workshops, and sessions throughout the year.  Go to the Community Safety page to see what’s coming.


What is Consent?

Understanding Consent

Consent means a clear, enthusiastic, ongoing and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activities. Consent is informed, freely given and actively communicated by words, body language or other forms of communication. It is always the responsibility of the person initiating sexual activity to ensure they have consent.

It is also important to know that someone who is incapacitated (ie. by alcohol or drugs, asleep or unconscious) is not able to consent. If you are unsure how drunk or high someone is- don’t initiate sexual activity – you risk causing harm.

Understanding Coercion and Boundaries

If your relationship involves sexual activity, it is important that you and your partner(s) understand consent. Sexual boundaries are about respecting your own limitations, as well as respecting the limits of your partner(s).

When someone says ‘no’ it is important to listen and not take further action. People may communicate ‘no’ in different ways, so part of respecting someone’s boundary starts with really listening to words and also body language.

Learning about others needs and boundaries as well as your own is super important for a positive sexual experience. Recognizing your level of comfort with a sexual activity and the ability to have a conversation with your partner(s) about their boundaries is key. Pressuring someone to do what you want is coercion and can cause harm.

Undressing Consent: Mandatory GBSV Training:


Understanding Gender-Based and Sexual Violence

What is gender-based and sexual violence?

Any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity and/or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature.  These acts may be committed or threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent.    

These acts include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment, unwanted sexual comments or advances
  • Stalking
  • Indecent exposure
  • Voyeurism
  • Cyber harassment
  • Sexual exploitation, selling or attempting to sell someone for sex
  • Acts of violence directed against an individual because of their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, regardless of the relationship to the victim
  • Acts of harassment, bullying, targeting someone’s gender identity or gender expression
1 in 3

Women are affected by sexual violence

1 in 6

Men are affected by sexual violence


Aboriginal women are 3 times more likely to be affected by sexual violence than Non-Aboriginal women

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, Trans, cisgender and other non-heterosexual people are 3 times more likely to be affected by sexual violence

Facts about gender-based and sexual violence

  • Rape is about power and control, not sex
  • There are no grey areas –  it’s never okay
  • Clothes are not a risk factor. What someone is wearing is never an indication of anything other than their fashion choice.
  • Uninvited touching and/or comments are never acceptable
  • Comments directed against a person’s sexuality can be a form of sexual harassment and violence and can have a negative impact on self-esteem and well-being. This is against the law!
  • Just because someone buys you dinner or a drink, doesn’t mean you owe them sex in return
  • Sharing nude photos of someone is an act of sexual assault
  • Removing a condom without a partner’s consent is an act of sexual assault

Myths about sexual assault

Society’s understanding of sexual violence can be influenced by misconceptions and false beliefs, commonly referred to as ‘rape myths’. Separating myths from facts is critical to stopping sexual violence.

Below are some of the commonly held myths, corrected with the corresponding facts.



Who are the perpetrators?

  • Across Canada, 82-92 per cent of all sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the survivor knows.
  • In Quebec, in 98 per cent of reported cases, the perpetrator was male.
  • 70% of sexual assault survivors were assaulted in a private residence.

Who are the survivors?

  • 1 in 3 women, 1 in 6 men will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.1
  • Male survivors will most often have experienced sexual violence in childhood, rates are highest between age 3-14.2
  • Women experience sexual violence throughout their lifespan, with high rates between the ages of 18-24.3
  • High rates of sexual violence are also experienced by Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.4

Sexual assault on campus

  • Most sexual assaults happen in the first eight weeks of classes.
  • 50% of sexual violence cases on campus involved alcohol or other substances.
  • 15 to 25% of female students 6.1% of male students, and 24% of transgender, genderqueer and questioning students in college and university experience some form of sexual assault.
  • Women who are the most vulnerable to sexual violence: women who are immigrants, visible minorities, Aboriginal and those who have a mental health condition or are disabled are 4 times at risk of sexual violence.


According to Statistics Canada’s 2004 General Social Survey (GSS):

  • About one in 10 sexual assaults is reported to police.
  • There were about 512,000 incidents of sexual assault, representing a rate of 1,977 incidents per 100,000 population aged 15 and older (2004 data).
  • Given that most sexual assaults go unreported, police-reported sexual assault counts are notably lower, with about 24,200 sexual offences recorded by police in 2007.
  • Survivor data indicate that most sexual assaults involved unwanted sexual touching (81%).
  • While few sexual assault survivors filed formal reports with police, most (72%) confided in friends and many turned to family (41%) and other informal sources of support.
  • Similar to survivors of other forms of violent crime, sexual assault survivors commonly experienced anger, confusion and frustration as a result of their assault.