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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Events and education

We encourage everyone in the university community to get involved in our programs that aim to help eliminate all types of violence at the university.

We strive to create a welcoming, inclusive community at the university that supports and promotes compassion, equity and respect among our members.  In this way, we condemn any behaviour that perpetuates sexual violence and domestic violence. Through education and preventative programming are working to cultivate a culture on campus where we are all responsible for ensuring that members of our community are safe and healthy in order to reach their full potential.

We invite you to make a pledge to take action to contribute to ending sexual violence and creating a culture of consent. 

Share your pledge with us by filling out the form linked below or by posting your pledge on social media and tagging @otstudentlife. Current students that share their pledge before September 30, 2020, will be entered in a draw to win one of three prizes! 

Submit your CONSENT CULTURE PLEDGE

Every year, members of the university community come together to recommit their pledge to end sexual violence by focusing on preventing behaviours and attitudes that perpetuate sexual violence, such as apathetic bystanders, denigration of women, excusing those who commit sexual violence, sexism, strict gender roles, trivialization of sexual violence, victim-blaming and more.

Some examples of pledges that promote a positive message:

  • To acknowledge sexist attitudes and behaviours when they arise.
  • To always ask for consent.
  • To believe victims and survivors.
  • To challenge victim-blaming.
  • To educate myself on how to have conversations about consent.
  • To educate others if they joke about rape.
  • To learn more about campus resources for victims and survivors.
  • To respect a victim or survivor's choice to report or not report an incident.
  • To see myself as an empowered bystander and intervene when appropriate.

We would like to turn the narrative about sexual violence away from one that places the blame on the survivors. This narrative may sound like one that “tells people not to wear revealing clothing” or “not to walk alone at night.” Our narrative needs to focus on promoting messages such as “don’t commit sexual violence” and “we all have a role in ending this.” When we change the way we think, discuss and react to sexual violence, we help create a community focused on preventing sexual violence.

The #WeGetConsent campaign

The #WeGetConsent campaign aims to spread the message of consent across our campus.

Consent is as easy as FRIES:

Freely Given
Reversible
Informed
Enthusiastic
Specific

Consent is an active, direct, voluntary, unimpaired and conscious choice and agreement to engage or continue in sexual activity. Consent to one act does not mean consent to another.

Consent:

  • Is never assumed or implied.
  • Is not silence or the absence of “no”.
  • Cannot be given if the person is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or unconscious.
  • Is required regardless of the parties’ relationship status or sexual history together.
  • Can be taken back, either through words (e.g. saying no) or body language (e.g. pushing someone away).
  • Can never be obtained through threats or coercion.
  • Cannot be given if the other person abuses a position of trust, power, or authority.

Student training

RISE Program (Respecting Individuals and Supporting Equity)

RISE: Sexual Violence Prevention

RISE: Sexual Violence Prevention is a bystander intervention skills workshop where participants will identify ways that they can prevent, intervene, and respond to sexual violence and domestic violence, and discuss topics such as rape culture, consent, and the spectrum of sexual violence.

Learn more and register for an upcoming RISE workshop

Staff and faculty training

Disclosure training: Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence 

The goal of this workshop is for students to develop effective and supportive responses to victims and survivors who disclose having experienced sexual and/or domestic violence to best maintain that individual's dignity and well-being.  Learn more about upcoming training and register through the Student Life Portal.

This workshop provides information on:

  • An overview of sexual and domestic violence and consent.
  • Advice on how to effectively support someone who has disclosed, e.g. What to say, and things to avoid saying.
  • Referring to appropriate support.
  • What happens after a referral.
  • Confidentiality and limitations.
  • Navigating the university's resources on sexual violence prevention.
  • Understanding how to support yourself after a disclosure.
  • Support services available for staff and students who receive disclosures.

If you are interested in having this workshop brought to your department or group, please email equity@ontariotechu.ca.

Human resources online training

For information, resources and training on how we all can ensuring that members of our community are safe and healthy in order to reach their full potential, view Ontario Tech University Human Resources: Online Training.

The First Year Me is a theatrical play presented by upper-year students during orientation, highlighting sexual violence and the complexities involved with being a bystander, consent, support for survivors, along with a broad range of other issues students may encounter in post-secondary education.

This class is designed to make students more aware, prepared, and ready for any situation that may occur in everyday life on any given day. This course differs from other self-defense classes in that it will teach not only physical skills but will also include relevant areas of self-defense such as effective social skills, de-escalation, and boundary setting. Techniques may include: punches, elbow strikes, kicks, knee strikes, ground defense, and defense tactics to counter choke holds, bear hugs and wrist grabs. 

Classes are free to attend and no registration is required. Please bring your student ID. For more information, contact equity@ontariotechu.ca.

Winter 2020 schedule

Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre, Aerobics Room 1. Facilitated by Brian Johns.

Women’s only

Mondays from 2:10 to 3 p.m.
Thursdays from 4:10 to 5 p.m.

All Gender

Mondays from 3:10 to 4 p.m.

Classes begin the week of January 20, 2020. Classes do not run during Winter study week (February 17 to February 23, 2020).

The following terms include a range of negative behaviours related to sexual violence.

Term

Definition

Criminal harassment

Criminal harassment is repeated behaviour that results in an individual feeling as though their personal safety is at risk. Criminal harassment includes, but is not limited to what is conventionally referred to as stalking and cyberbullying. Criminal harassment includes:

  • Following a person.
  • Threatening the person or their family.
  • Unsolicited communications, either verbal or digital.
  • Watching a person’s home, or other places where they may travel or work.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves using digital communication technologies to engage in harassing behaviour against others. Cyberbullying includes:

  • Creating websites to make fun of others.
  • Posting degrading or harassing content online.
  • Posting embarrassing photos of someone online.
  • Pretending to be someone by using their name.
  • Sending mean or threatening emails or text/instant messages.
  • Tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others.

Discrimination

Any form of differential treatment that results in disadvantage, including imposing extra burdens, denying benefits, and/or limiting access to opportunities, based on one or more characteristics that an individual cannot change about themselves, known as prohibited grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code, namely:

  • age
  • ancestry, colour, race
  • citizenship, ethnic origin
  • place of origin
  • creed
  • disability
  • family status
  • marital status (including single status)
  • gender identity, gender expression
  • receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
  • record of offences (in employment only)
  • sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • sexual orientation

Domestic or Intimate Partner Violence

The terms “domestic violence’ and ‘intimate partner violence’ are synonymous terms that are used to describe the physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as sexual coercion and stalking by a current or former intimate partner. These violent and coercive behaviours are utilized to gain, cultivate, and prolong power and control over someone they are intimate with. An intimate partner is someone with whom you have or have had a close personal or sexual relationship. This type of violence affects individuals of all different ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, races, religious backgrounds, income levels and quantity of education.

Indecent exposure

Indecent exposure is when an individual exposes their genitals to other people (typically strangers caught off guard) in order to gain sexual satisfaction. Indecent exposure is also known as flashing or exhibitionism and is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Intimate partner violence

Controlling, abusive and aggressive behaviour in an interpersonal romantic relationship. It can happen to anyone. Intimate partner violence can also be referred to as dating violence and domestic violence. All are considered forms of sexual violence.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault means a form of sexual violence that involves any kind of sexual contact with another person without their Consent or by force. It can include unwanted kissing, fondling, oral or anal sex, intercourse, or other forms of penetration, or any other unwanted act of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment

Sexual Harassment means a form of sexual violence that involves a course of vexatious comment, conduct or communication based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression, or orientation, that is known or should have been known to be unwelcome.

Sexual violence

Sexual Violence means any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s Consent, and includes Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation.

Stalking

A form of criminal harassment involving repeated conduct that is carried out over a period of time and that causes an individual to reasonably fear for their safety or the safety of someone known to them. Stalking does not require physical injury; it is enough if the conduct makes a person fearful.

Stealthing

Stealthing or Non-Consensual Condom Removal (NCCR) is when a man who is having consensual sex and has agreed to wear a condom takes the condom off, without his partner’s consent, immediately before or during intercourse. From a physical perspective, this action risks pregnancy for a woman and, for both genders, it risks sexually transmitted diseases. Psychologically, stealthing disregards the pair’s sexual agreement, breaks trust, and violates the victim’s consent.

Voyeurism

The act of deriving sexual gratification from the covert observation of others as they undress or engage in sexual activities. This may include recording such activity and distributing it. When the behaviour of the individual watching another is unwelcome, repeated and makes the observed person feel unsafe, it may also constitute criminal harassment.