Roles and responsibilities

Everyone in the University of Ottawa community has a role to play in preventing and responding to sexual violence. There are responsibilities shared by all, and unique roles for specific campus groups.

Common roles

  • Modelling positive behaviours and attitudes by:
    • Demonstrating respectful behaviour in personal relationships;
    • Valuing diversity;
    • Resolving conflicts in constructive and non-violent ways;
    • intervene safely when you witness sexual violence, whether directly or indirectly;
    • Speaking out against negative attitudes and intervening when comments are made that promote rape myths, sexual violence and discrimination. This is more than comments, they are also the actions must be prevented;
  • Having open discussions with peers about sexual violence on campus;
  • Responding in a sympathetic, non-judgmental and supportive way when a sexual assault or other act of sexual violence is disclosed;
  • Being a supportive listener when survivors wish to discuss their experiences;
  • Respecting survivors’ privacy and how much information they choose to disclose;
  • Ensuring the confidentiality of the survivor and the accused and discouraging rumours and allegations;
  • Being aware of the Policy 67b - Prevention of Sexual Violence and how to contact the response team;
  • Willingly participating in investigations;
  • Participating in training and public education initiatives on sexual violence prevention and supporting survivors;
  • Recognizing that relationships of trust and authority exist between many members of the campus community (for example, professors and students, teaching assistants and students, managers and staff), and that it is necessary to maintain appropriate relationships;

Particular groups

These following groups have specific roles:

Senior Administrators

Members of the Board of Governors, Chancellor, President, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, Deans

  • Playing a leadership role in raising awareness and addressing sexual violence on campus
  • Endorsing a formal sexual violence policy
  • Initiating and supporting the development of a sexual violence response procedure
Faculty and Teaching Staff

Professors, lab instructors, researchers, teaching assistants

  • Helping implement appropriate academic accommodation, such as extensions on assignments, class changes or continuing studies from home
  • Making students aware of opportunities to attend campus-wide training, lectures, workshops or events relating to sexual violence
  • Looking for opportunities to include initiatives to counter sexual violence in teaching materials, curriculum and course content
Housing Service
  • Implementing the residence Code of Conduct included in the Residence Agreement, Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Measures
  • When the survivor and perpetrator live in the same residence, organizing a change in living arrangements, preferably of the perpetrator, so the survivor can maintain peer support
  • Encouraging students living in residences to organize and participate in sexual violence awareness activities
  • Being aware of any changes in behaviour by individual students
Student Academic Support Service, Counselling and Coaching
  • Creating an atmosphere where all survivors, regardless of gender identification, feel comfortable disclosing and seeking help
  • Offering short-term and peer group support for survivors of sexual violence
  • Referring students to other campus and local services (for example, hospital services, sexual assault centres, peer supports, emergency shelters, mental health services, community health centres)
Protection Services
  • Receiving incident reports and tracking incidents to identify commonalities between reported incidents, such as a similar location, residence or perpetrator description
  • Acting as first responder at all times (24/7) for emergency services when an incident takes place on campus
  • When possible, offering the survivor the opportunity to deal with personnel of the gender of their choice, be it security staff, police officers or others
  • Ensuring that any evidence that may be required in the event of possible criminal proceedings is preserved
  • Providing information to the survivor regarding internal and external support services, including counselling, advocacy and internal (non-criminal) and external (criminal) complaint processes.
  • Conducting internal campus investigations
  • Conducting an assessment of the threat to the survivor and the uOttawa community
  • Issuing a campus safety alert after a disclosure, when it is determined that people on campus may be at risk
  • Acting as the University’s liaison with the Ottawa Police Service and cooperating with its investigations
  • Implementing interim measures such as no-contact orders issued by the courts or the Sexual Violence Response Team for dealing with the alleged perpetrator while an investigation is taking place
  • Following best practices in creating a campus that is physically safe
  • Assessing physical safety on campus through regular safety audits
  • Engage the campus community in periodic reviews of security procedures, where appropriate
Faculty Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Vice-Deans, Academic Administrators and Support Staff
  • Assisting with academic accommodations (waiving an academic regulation, degree requirement or academic deadline), dropping courses and other matters (with  no academic or financial/monetary penalty)
Human Resources
  • Promoting and coordinate sexual prevention training and awareness for employees
  • Ensuring that employees, supervisors and union representatives are aware of internal policies dealing with sexual violence
  • Assisting the Human Rights Office in implementing of interim measures for employees
  • Determining what corrective or disciplinary measures are to be implemented for incidents involving employees
Human Rights Office
  • Receiving and handling sexual violence-related complaints according to University policies, procedures and collective agreements
  • Where informal or formal complaints are filed, helping implement interim measures, including academic and non-academic  accommodation
  • Providing information to the survivor as well as members of the University community regarding internal and external support and advocacy services, and internal (non-criminal) and external (criminal) complaint processes
  • Referring people seeking information to other resources on campus including student groups and unions
  • Participating in continuing education on sexual violence
  • Coordinating the work of the Sexual Violence Response Team
Sexual Violence Response Team
  • Putting in place supports and services for the parties involved using a survivor-centred approach. This includes ensuring that:
    • information has been clearly communicated to the survivor regarding internal and external support and advocacy services, and internal (non-criminal) and external (criminal) complaint processes;
    • academic or non-academic accommodation and interim measures to stabilize the situation and/or separate the parties are taken; and
    • a threat assessment is conducted.
Student Federation of the University of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa Graduate Students Association
  • Engaging in awareness activities to promote a better understanding of sexual violence and the University’s policies and protocols
  • Providing feedback on institutional policies, resources and procedures
  • Participating in campus sexual violence awareness activities
  • Meeting the expectations of behaviour set out in the University’s policies and procedures
  • Providing feedback on institutional policies, resources and procedures

Did you know?

Tools and resources

Please note that the feminine is used throughout this website, but it does not exclude any person who has been a victim of sexual violence.

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