January 27th 2021 TORONTO - Today, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 131/16 to make post-secondary sexual violence policies more trauma-informed, survivor-centric, and evidence-based.
"We are pleased to see the government take positive steps toward protecting and supporting students who have experienced gender-based violence," said Alexia Henriques, OUSA Steering Committee Member and Vice-President University Affairs at the Alma Mater Society at Queen’s University. "Students in Ontario have consistently expressed the need to better address the gender-based violence crisis on post-secondary campuses, and these proposed changes are one of many steps necessary to make our campuses safer."
OUSA has been calling on the Ontario government to amend Ontario Regulations 131/16 to include all essential aspects of survivor-centric sexual violence policies. The two proposed amendments in today’s announcement are an important first step towards safer, more trauma-informed responses to gender-based violence.
“While today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, we are hopeful that the provincial government will continue to consult with experts in the field, students with lived experience, and student advocates to strengthen these policies,” said Julia Pereira, OUSA President and Vice-President University Affairs at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. “We look forward to continuing this necessary work toward ending gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions.”
OUSA would like to acknowledge the student advocates, students with lived experience, and experts, including the work of Courage to Act on the National draft Framework to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada, who contributed to the research that informed OUSA’s gender-based violence prevention and response policy. OUSA is hopeful that these amendments will help create safer campuses with the required resources to respond to gender-based violence.
To see OUSA’s additional recommendations to prevent and respond to campus gender-based violence, read OUSA’s Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy Paper here.