Province’s sexual violence survey aims to better serve students

Student Voices Sexual Violence survey

Full-time undergraduate and graduate students at York University and across Ontario will be invited to participate in the Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey beginning Feb. 26.

The survey will be administered by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).

Student Voices Sexual Violence surveyOn March 8, 2016, the government passed the “Sexual Violence & Harassment Action Plan Act”, which amended the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities and Private Career College acts. The revised legislation strengthens supports for survivors of sexual violence and helps make campuses, workplaces, homes, and communities safer.

The revisions require post-secondary education institutions, including private career colleges, to participate in a student campus climate survey on sexual violence.

The Ministry has engaged with several groups to develop the survey, including: Canadian Federation of Students; College Student Alliance; Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance; College & University sector representatives; MAESD’s Sexual Violence Reporting Advisory committee (includes students); Ministry of the Status of Women (formerly OWD); and Violence Against Women Roundtable.

More than 650,000 postsecondary students are being encouraged to complete this important survey which will gather quality, consistent data about students experiences and general attitudes and beliefs related to campus safety, unwanted sexual behaviours, and sexual violence response support and resources. It is the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in Ontario.

The survey takes 15 to 20 minutes on average, and will ask questions about the survey participant’s perspective on, and experience with, sexual violence. All responses will be kept strictly confidential.

The survey will be open from Feb. 26 to March 26, and students will receive an email with a personalized link to the survey.

The student survey will provide the University with information to further address sexual violence and help inform effective sexual violence response and education. York University’s Sexual Violence Response Office has been moving forward to foster a culture where attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate sexual violence are rejected, survivors are supported, community members are educated, and those who commit incidents of sexual violence are held accountable.

A high participation rate will result in robust data that can be used for planning at all levels of the University – program, faculty, divisional and institutional – and help to better serve our students.

Visit the Student Voices on Sexual Violence website for information on the survey.