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1 in 5 female-identified individuals experience sexual violence while attending college/university, and men are disproportionately the perpetrators of sexual violence. Anyone who varies from the normative dominant culture view of gender and sexuality faces considerable social stigma generally, and particularly when they experience sexual violence. People who identify as trans, queer, LGB, or who simply express gender variance outside of social norms without necessarily identifying this to others, all experience a higher rate of sexual violence as well as stigma when they seek remedy and support. Recent Ontario research shows that 20% of trans Ontarians have been the targets of physical or sexual assaults because they are trans, and another 34% have experienced verbal harassment or threats. “According to Statistics Canada, the 2010 police-reported hate crime data confirms that violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community continues to be the most severe of all forms of hate crime in Canada.”

In January 2017, Ontario introduced legislation governing the responsibilities of colleges and universities to address sexual violence. The legislation covers obligations to have a sexual violence policy, to have student input into the development and review of the policy, to provide information to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities about supports and services, awareness initiatives, incidents and complaints and the effectiveness of the policy. Regulations require that appropriate supports, services and accommodation be provided to students affected by sexual violence.

In developing a metric that assesses Ontario postsecondary institutions’ initiatives in addressing the problem of sexual violence, White Ribbon worked in collaboration with CREVAWC to conduct a literature review and an environmental scan to identify best and promising practices. This was supplemented with secondary data from qualitative interviews with student survivors.

The Advisory Committee consists of representatives from Humber College, Lakehead University, and Mohawk College who are experienced in Sexual violence prevention and education and who hold advisory roles on gender-based violence within a post-secondary setting. Members of the advisory committee provided recommendations and advice throughout the development of the metric. They monitored the process of developing the metric, set priorities and made recommendations about content and criteria to be included in the metric.