The University of Regina launched a new program to prevent sexual assault and violence on campus.
The UR Safe Gendered Violence Prevention Project is expected to lead to an action plan for those who live and visit the university. The U of R wants to focus on education, communication and awareness, while providing sufficient resources and support for victims.
The initiative hits close to home for president and vice-chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons.
“My daughter was raped in her second year of university on a university campus. She did not tell anyone. She did not share it with anyone because she had been drinking and she was ashamed and felt that she somehow had been responsible for this,” she revealed.
Dr. Timmons believes sexual assaults are underreported at the university.
“I hope that our campus is overall safe, but I know for a fact that women have experienced sexual assault on our campus and inappropriate touching, inappropriate comments, that happens. I want to make sure we minimize that as much as possible,” she said.
The university is partnering with White Ribbon Canada, a group working with boys and men to end violence against women, along with promoting gender equity, healthy relationships and what it means to be masculine.
A total of $82,500 is being used by the U of R to help implement the program.
U of R instructor Roz Kelsey has been the driving force behind the program. Kelsey said later this month a campus-wide survey will be distributed to students and faculty to gauge their understanding of the issue.
“What do they know, what do they believe, what’s happened to them in the past, where do they go if something does happen, do they know where to go, do they know what’s going on on campus, are we doing enough?” she asked.
More information on the university’s sexual assault and violence policy can be found here at http://www.uregina.ca/ursafe/.