Okanagan College launches online reporting for campus sexual violence
Okanagan College has partnered with REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors), a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week centralized online reporting and information platform that provides increased options for students and employees to report campus sexual harassment, misconduct and assault.
“While our sincerest hope is that no Okanagan College student will ever have need to use this platform, sadly we know that sexual violence remains all too prevalent in our society,” said Meri Kim Oliver, Vice President Students for Okanagan College. “It is of vital importance to us that students know what tools and processes are in place to support them at the College, and that our employees understand how and where to direct students to access these supports when needed. We encourage all members of our learning community to visit OC’s sexual violence information page to familiarize themselves with REES, with our Sexual Violence Policy, related policies, and the training and resources available.”
According to a 2019 Stats Canada Survey on Individual Safety in the Postsecondary Student Population, 71 per cent of post-secondary students witnessed or experienced unwanted sexualized behaviours over the past year, while 10 per cent of women students had experienced a sexual assault in a postsecondary setting over the previous year.
“REES is proud to support Okanagan College communities with a consistent, online reporting option as well as access to information about supports and resources,” says Mary Lobson, founder of REES.
Okanagan College joins Columbia Bible College, St. Francis Xavier University, the University of Windsor, the University of Winnipeg and others in implementing REES.
Okanagan College is committed to a consent-based culture. Last fall, the College launched a mandatory Sexual Violence and Consent online course for all students, and the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee reaffirmed OC’s commitment in a statement and call to action for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
You can learn more about REES on Okanagan College’s Sexual Violence Awareness page, which contains a link to the College’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy, how to disclose a sexual violence and supports for survivors.
Tags: REES, Services for Students
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