How You Can Help Someone
If someone discloses allegations of sexual violence
If an employee of the college becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence against another member of the college, he or she is required to report the alleged incident to Human Resources at 519-748-5220 ext. 3399 or Security Services at 519-748-5220 ext. 5555.
Those who have experienced sexual violence may choose to confide in another member of the college community, such as a student, instructor, teaching assistant, coach, or staff from housing, health, counselling or security. An individual who has experienced sexual violence may also disclose to staff or faculty members when seeking support and/or academic accommodation. A supportive response involves:
- listening without judgement and accepting the disclosure as true
- communicating that sexual violence is never the responsibility of the victim
- 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 to report to the police or Counselling Services at 519-748-5220: Doon, ext.3360; Cambridge, ext. 4523; Waterloo, ext. 5224 and Guelph, ext. 6156
- recognizing that disclosing can be traumatic and that 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 experience
- making every effort to respect confidentiality and anonymity.
If disclosure is made to a Conestoga employee by a student seeking support or academic accommodation, the employee should refer the student to the Counselling Services office and work with the Program Chair to ensure that the student receives all necessary academic and other accommodations.
The Counselling Services office will liaise with appropriate campus partners to identify and support the most appropriate accommodations for the survivor. Accommodations may include, but not be limited to, extended time on assignments, changing classroom or work proximity of the survivor and accused assailant, or implementing scheduling of service access times for the survivor to ensure the offender is not present.
Employees who require accommodation as a result of sexual violence can make an appointment with the Human Resources office. Human Resources will liaise with the employee’s supervisor to facilitate appropriate accommodations.
Communicating with individuals who have experienced sexual violence
Sensitive and timely communication with individuals who have experienced sexual violence and their family members (when an individual consents to this communication) is a central part of the college’s first response to sexual violence. To facilitate communication, the college will:
- Ensure that designated staff members in the Counselling Services department who are knowledgeable about sexual violence serve as on-campus advocates for students who have experienced sexual violence
- Ensure that employees can access designated support for suitable counselling through the college’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Ensure designated staff members respond in a prompt, compassionate, and personalized fashion
- Ensure that survivors of sexual assault are provided with reasonable updates regarding the status of the college’s investigation of the incident when such investigations are undertaken.