Prevention & Response to Sexual Violence
The University is currently reviewing its Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. For more information and to provide feedback, please visit the consultation website.
The Final Report of the Presidential and Provostial Advisory Committee on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence was released on February 2, 2016. Composed of tri-campus representatives from among students, staff, and faculty, the committee and its three working groups were tasked with establishing a set of recommendations to prevent and respond to sexual violence at the University of Toronto.
On April 6, 2016, President Gertler and Provost Regehr released the Response to the Final Report of the Presidential and Provostial Advisory Committee on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence (PDF). The Response accepts all of the committee’s recommendations and creates three panels whose expert knowledge will guide the implementation of the recommendations.
Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies
Download the Recommendations of the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies (August 4, 2016)
Chaired by Professor Mayo Moran, the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies was asked to advise Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr and Professor Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity, on principles and recommendations for a new stand-alone policy on sexual violence and provide general recommendations for revisions to existing University policies addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment. As well, the panel was asked to make recommendations regarding a companion document that will explain procedures related to the approved policies.
The Expert Panel conducted a number of consultations across the University of Toronto’s three campuses. The Expert Panel’s consultations have included in-person consultation days on each of the three campuses. During these consultation sessions, students, staff, and faculty were invited to provide feedback on the development of a sexual violence policy. The first consultation day was held at the University of Toronto Mississauga on June 8, 2016 followed by June 9 at the St. George campus and the University of Toronto Scarborough on June 16. Each day consisted of three separate sessions, one each for students, staff, and faculty. The panel also held a number of other meetings with representative student committees.
The panel delivered its final report to Professors Regehr and Hildyard, who reviewed the recommendations and principles carefully and began the process of policy analysis and drafting, leading to the implementation of a new sexual violence policy by January 1, 2017 as required by provincial legislation (Bill 132).
The panel put forward 40 recommendations in six categories: General, Definitions, Confidentiality, Statement of Purpose, Elements, and the Companion Guide in the final report.
The University continued to consult extensively throughout the Fall semester, providing students, faculty, and staff with numerous opportunities to give input on the draft policy. Information about consultation sessions were posted online, and the Provost’s website and the Human Resources and Equity website were updated as the process advanced.
The Expert Panel has received a great deal of thoughtful input and is thankful to the many voices who contributed to these discussions, both online and in person. On behalf of the University, Professors Regehr and Hildyard thank the members of the Expert Panel for their commitment and service to our institution. Their considered advice will help steer policy development in this complex and important area.
Read the background on the online consultation by the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies (May 2016).
Mayo Moran (Chair), Professor, Faculty of Law; Provost, Trinity College
Saagarika Coleman, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Arts & Science
Brenda Cossman, Professor, Faculty of Law; Director, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies
Mark Overton, Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal, Student Services, University of Toronto Mississauga
Lahoma Thomas, Graduate Student, Faculty of Arts & Science
The Presidential and Provostial Advisory Committee on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence outlined four principles and five major recommendations in its Report of February 2016. In their Response, Professors Gertler and Regehr endorsed each of the principles and accepted all of the committee’s recommendations. They outlined the steps that would be taken to address each of the recommendations and announced that three expert panels would be created to support the University’s action plans.
Accordingly, the mandate of the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies is threefold:
- To develop principles and recommendations on a new stand-alone policy on sexual violence;
- To develop recommendations for revisions to existing University policies addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment; and
- To make recommendations regarding a companion document that will explain procedures related to the approved policies.
To do this, the Expert Panel will advise and consult on two key policy issues:
- The reporting process for sexual violence cases; and
- The investigation, resolution, and adjudication processes for such cases.
Throughout, the panel will consider how to incorporate principles of procedural fairness for all parties — respondents and complainants — and how to ensure that University policies and procedures reflect those principles.
The University will undertake a multi-phase consultation process with students, staff, and faculty. This panel is responsible for the consultation phase as outlined above. This phase commenced in late May 2016 and involved extensive online and in-person consultations. In the next phase, the Offices of the Vice-President & Provost and Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity drew on the panel’s findings in order to draft the new proposed policy, update existing policies, and oversee the governance process.
Expert Panel on Education & Prevention of Sexual Violence
Download the Guiding Principles for Sexual Violence Education and Prevention (2017).
Chaired by Professor Gretchen Kerr, the Expert Panel on Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence will guide the planning and implementation of coordinated evidence-based education and training initiatives, including those related to the new and revised sexual violence policies and guidelines. The Expert Panel will provide input on the content and delivery of these programs and will also serve as a valuable resource for the new Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre (SVPSC).
Panel members’ research expertise in sexual violence education and/or prevention and experience in curriculum design will guide the planning and implementation of education and training initiatives.
Gretchen Kerr (Chair), Professor & Acting Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Liza Arnason, Director, Department of Student Life, University of Toronto Scarborough
Manvinder Sahota, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Arts & Science
Lana Stermac, Professor, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Katherine Stewart, Graduate Student, Faculty of Medicine
Angela Treglia, Director, Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre
Sexual Violence Climate Survey Advisory Board
Chaired by Professor Sandy Welsh, the University of Toronto Sexual Violence Climate Survey Advisory Board helps guide the development of a tri-campus survey and its implementation. The climate survey will be an important tool for benchmarking, understanding, and addressing sexual violence in the University community. The Advisory Board will consult across the institution, including with faculty, on-campus service providers, students, survivors, and local community services.
Sandy Welsh (Chair), Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts & Science; Vice-Provost, Students (2016-18)
Nasma Ahmed, Undergraduate Student, University of Toronto Scarborough (2016-17)
Brie Berry-Crossfield, Graduate Student (2017-18)
Laura Boyko, Assistant Dean, Health, Wellness, Physical Activity, Recreation & Sport, University of Toronto Scarborough (2017-18)
Jeff Burrow, Manager, Assessment & Analysis (2017-18)
Andrea Carter, Assistant Dean, Student Wellness, Support & Success, University of Toronto Mississauga (2017-18)
Janice Du Mont, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (2016-18)
Lori Ferris, Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health; Associate Vice-President, Research Oversight & Compliance (2017-18)
Nana Frimpong, Undergraduate Student, University of Toronto Scarborough (2017-18)
David Newman, Senior Director, Student Experience (2017-18)
Michael Nicholson, Assistant Director, Accessibility Services (2016-18)
Terry McQuaid, Executive Director, Sexual Violence Prevention & Support (2017-18)
Juhi Sujan, Graduate Student, School of Public Policy & Governance, Faculty of Arts & Science (2016-17)
Angela Treglia, Director, Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre (2017-18)
Related Documents & Resources
Companion to the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (January 2019)
Principles of the Expert Panel on Education and Prevention of Sexual Violence (May 2017)
Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment approved by the Governing Council (December 2016)
Recommendations of the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies (August 2016)
Update on U of T’s Action Plan on Sexual Violence Prevention and Support (May 2016)
Expert Panels to Guide the University’s Response to Sexual Violence (May 2016)
Response to the Final Report of the Presidential and Provostial Advisory Committee on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence (April 2016)
Final Report of the Presidential and Provostial Advisory Committee on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence (February 2016)
Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (March 2015)