Education and training
Okanagan College’s commitment to excellence in education starts with creating safe and inclusive learning spaces for all OC communities. Sexual Violence and Consent, an online training course, has been created to empower each of us to understand our rights and to take accountability of our responsibilities regarding consent.
Note: You will need your Student ID number (300#) and password to access this course via Moodle.
What is consent?
Consent is an agreement between individuals that is active, direct, voluntary, uncoerced, ongoing, unimpaired and based on a conscious choice to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any point.
Enthusiastic and affirmative
YES! Anything else is not a response of consent.
Ongoing and active
Can change based on how a person is feeling about something from one moment to the next. It has to be ongoing. Consent can be revoked at ANY time.
The response is not coerced, the individual should never be convinced.
The person should be accurately informed on what it is they are consenting to.
What is not consent
Consent is not coerced or manipulated. If someone needs to be convinced or talked into providing a “yes” then consent isn’t being provided. It must be freely given, enthusiastic, and ongoing. There is no voluntary consent when someone uses their power or authority to manipulate another person’s answer. Consent can not be provided when someone is intoxicated or incapacitated. Legally, someone cannot consent when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Consent is simple
What is a disclosure?
Disclosure is sharing an experience of sexual violence. A disclosure does NOT launch any kind of formal process. A disclosure can come from anyone and typically lands with someone that the survivor trusts and feels safe with, this could be a mentor, friend, family member, instructor, or staff member. Disclosures do not lead to reports unless the survivor chooses that path.
How it works
OC students wishing to make a confidential disclosure or receive support through the reporting process may connect with any on-campus supports that they feel comfortable with.
- Counselling Services
- Student Support Coordinator
- Indigenous Services
Supporting survivors of sexual violence is complicated. Each survivor has a unique experience and story that will inform the support that they find helpful.
The best way to support a survivor is to find out what they need, be open to supporting them, build a relationship and remain trustworthy. Protect their confidentiality and prioritize their safety. These are two of the most important pieces.
Being informed about resources that exist in our community is another great way to be supportive. Sometimes the most respectful and supportive thing we can do is refer people to someone who has more knowledge and capacity than we do.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware that many of the resources that we might jump to suggest are not culturally safe for some individuals. There continues to be a lack of adequate support for 2SLGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous and other under-supported communities. For some folks seeing a counsellor or talking to the police can be extremely difficult, triggering or unsafe. It’s great to suggest a variety of options and resources so that the survivor can choose the option that suits them. Approach with compassion and curiosity when offering options and refrain from making a judgement, being shocked by someone saying “no” to support, or telling a survivor what to do. Empower them to make their own choices, find the right help, and take their time.
There are a lot of external resources available to help you learn about sexual violence, consent and related topics impacting students.
Why we need to change the way young men think about consent
How you can help
Faculty and staff are encouraged to learn more about supporting survivors and creating a safe learning environment for all.
Step 1: Respect in the Workplace
Step 2: Know the steps to take if someone reports sexual violence
Okanagan College has procedures in place to follow in the event an individual discloses or reports sexual violence. As you follow these procedures, do so with empathy and kindness.
Want more training?
Optional training opportunities are available for employees. Well-being program coordinator, Jessica Bayer, offers training on how to utilize the REES system and support students who wish to access REES or other supports on or off campus. Contact her at JBayer@okangan.bc.ca.
- Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy
- Procedures for complaints of sexual violence and misconduct
- Code of Ethical Practices Policy
- Relationships between employees and students Q&A
Note: An employee who experiences harassment or inappropriate behaviour from a student may seek support from their association or union, People Services or from their supervisor.