Sexual assault and sexual violence procedures

If this is an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.

Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the victim and involves a range of behaviours from any unwanted touching to penetration. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours that involve the use of force, threats or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened, or that is carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented to, or is incapable of consenting to.

Sexual violence is a broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This violence takes different forms including sexual abuse and sexual assault.

Sexual activity without consent is sexual assault:

  • Silence or non-communication must never be interpreted as consent and a person in a state of diminished judgment cannot consent.
  • A person is incapable of giving consent if they are asleep, unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
  • A person who has been threatened or coerced into engaging in the sexual activity is not consenting to it.
  • A person who is drugged is unable to consent.
  • A person may be unable to give consent they have a mental disability.
  • The fact that consent was given in the past to a sexual or dating relationship does not mean that consent is deemed to exist for all future sexual activity.
  • A person can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.
  • A person is incapable of giving consent to a person in a position of trust, power or authority.
  • It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to ensure clear and affirmative responses are communicated at all stages of sexual engagement.
Statement from the President

Here at Conestoga, we are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, social, recreational and working environment for our students, employees, partners, friends and visitors.

We take pride in having a campus community that is respectful, welcoming and inclusive. We are committed to maintaining a campus free of discrimination and harassment, and strive to foster an atmosphere of healthy attitudes and behaviours towards sexuality, sex and gender roles.

Conestoga will not tolerate behaviour that contributes to a hostile or inequitable learning and working environment. We are committed to supporting those who experience sexual violence, and we work diligently on campus and with our community partners on programs, policies and resources to ensure that our campuses remain free from sexual violence.

This website provides quick access to the information contained in the college’s Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy & Procedure . These documents provide guidance and resources to support those who may be involved in working with persons who have experienced sexual violence.

I urge all members of the Conestoga community to review this policy and procedure to learn more about options and resources available to those who require support, and to those who wish to support others.

Please help ensure that our college remains a safe and positive space where everyone can learn, work and express themselves in a safe environment that upholds human equality.

Thank you,

John Tibbits
President

Off-campus assault

If you have experienced sexual violence off-campus

Go to a safe place

  • If you live in residence, go to a trusted friend or your Residence Assistant.
  • If you don’t live in residence or are not a student, go to a trusted friend or relative if you feel physically or emotionally unsafe.

Get medical attention as needed

Go to your local hospital emergency department .

Seek out support and counselling

For immediate support by telephone, contact one of the services in your community .

Get advice on available options for reporting

Conestoga’s Safety and Security Services and Counselling Services can help you file a formal complaint. If the alleged perpetrator is another member of the college community, you may file a complaint under this policy with Human Resources.

Individuals who have experienced sexual violence may also wish to press charges under the Criminal Code. Security Services and Counselling Services can also help you contact local police should you prefer not contacting the police directly.

More information on filing a complaint can be found at: Security Services ext. 5555.

On-campus assault

If you have experienced sexual violence on-campus

Contact Counselling Services

If you are a student and you have experienced (or witnessed) sexual violence on campus, you may contact Counselling Services:

Kitchener - Doon campus: 519-748-5220, ext. 3360 Cambridge campus: 519-748-5220, ext. 4523 Waterloo campus: 519-748-5220, ext. 5224 Guelph campus: 519-748-5220, ext. 6156

We will assist you by providing the resources and support you need. If you want to speak to someone in person, please go to Counselling Services at the Kitchener - Doon campus (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday).

If you are an employee and have experienced sexual violence on campus, you may contact Human Resources:  519-748-5220, ext. 3399

We will assist you by providing the resources and support you need. If you want to speak to someone directly, please go to Human Resources in the Employee Services Building at the Kitchener - Doon campus (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Reporting an incident

It is often difficult to disclose and report incidents of sexual violence. It is your choice whether or not to report the incident; however, we strongly encourage you do. A number of other resources, on and off campus are available to you, including:

Filing a formal complaint

Conestoga’s Safety and Security Services and Counselling Services can help you file a formal complaint. If the alleged perpetrator is another member of the college community, you may file a complaint under this policy with Human Resources.

Individuals who have experienced sexual violence may also wish to press charges under the Criminal Code. Security Services and Counselling Services can also help you contact local police, should you prefer not contacting the police directly.

More information on filing a complaint can be found at: Security Services ext. 5555.

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: Kitchener - 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.

Accommodations

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.