Safe at Cambrian

Cambrian's Commitment to Survivors of Sexual Assault

Anyone who has experienced sexual violence has the right to:
Previous Next

be treated with dignity and respect

be believed

be informed about on and off-campus services and resources

decide whether or not to access available services and to choose those services he/she feel will be most beneficial

decide whether to report to campus security and/or local police

have an on-campus investigation with the institution's full cooperation

have a safety plan

have reasonable and necessary actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the alleged perpetrator(s)

Safe at Cambrian

Learn More

Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence

Sexual assault: A criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another, that violates the sexual integrity of the victim, and involves a range of behaviours from any unwanted touching to penetration. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours that involve the use of force, threats, or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened, or that is carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented to, or is incapable of consenting to.

Sexual violence: A broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This violence takes different forms including sexual abuse and sexual assault.

Consent: The voluntary and explicit agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. It is the act of willingly agreeing to engage in specific sexual behaviour, and requires that a person is able to freely choose between two options: yes and no. This means that there must be an understandable exchange of affirmative words, which indicates a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

It is also imperative that everyone understands the following:

  • Silence or non-communication must never be interpreted as consent and a person in a state of diminished judgment cannot consent.
  • A person is incapable of giving consent if he/she is asleep, unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
  • A person who has been threatened or coerced (i.e. is not agreeing voluntarily) into engaging in the sexual activity is not consenting to it.
  • A person who is drugged is unable to consent.
  • A person is usually unable to give consent when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • A person may be unable to give consent if he/she has a mental disability preventing them from fully understanding sexual acts.
  • The fact that consent was given in the past to a sexual or dating relationship does not mean that consent is deemed to exist for all future sexual activity.
  • A person can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.
  • A person is incapable of giving consent to a person in a position of trust, power or authority, such as a faculty member initiating a relationship with a student who he or she teaches, or an administrator in a relationship with anyone who reports to that position.
  • Consent cannot be given on behalf of another person.

It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to ensure clear and affirmative responses are communicated at all stages of sexual engagement. It is also the initiator's responsibility to know if the person he/she is engaging with sexually is a minor.

Other Relevant Terms

Age of consent for sexual activity: The age at which a person can legally consent to sexual activity. In Canada, children under the age of 12 can never legally consent to sexual acts. Sixteen is the legal age of consent for sexual acts. There are variations on the age of consent for adolescents who are close in age between the ages of 12 and 16. Twelve and 13 year-olds can consent to have sex with other youth who are less than two years older than themselves. Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may consent to sexual involvement that is mutual with a person who is less than five years older. Youths 16 and 17 years old may legally consent to sexual acts with someone who is not in a position of trust or authority.

Coercion: In the context of sexual violence coercion is an unreasonable and persistent pressure for sexual activity. Coercion is the use of emotional manipulation, blackmail, threats to family or friends, or the promise of rewards or special treatment, to persuade someone to do something he/she does not wish to do, such as being sexual or performing particular sexual acts.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault: The use of alcohol and/or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) by a perpetrator to control, overpower or subdue a victim for purposes of sexual assault.

Stalking: A form of criminal harassment prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada. It involves behaviours that occur on more than one occasion and which collectively instills fear in the victim or threatens the victim/target's safety or mental health. Stalking can also include threats of harm to the target's friends and/or family. These behaviours include, but are not limited to non-consensual communications (face to face, phone, email, social media); threatening or obscene gestures; surveillance; sending unsolicited gifts; "creeping" via social media/cyber-stalking; and uttering threats.

Survivor: Someone who has experienced sexual violence may choose to identify as a survivor. Others may prefer the term "victim". We use "survivor" because some who have experienced sexual assault believe they have overcome the violent experiences and do not wish to self-identify as victims. However, persons who have experienced sexual violence have the prerogative to self-identify as they wish.

Safety on Campus
Code Blue and Emergency Telephones

"Help at the touch of a button." To assist security in providing a safe environment on campus, a Code Blue system and Emergency telephones are located throughout the buildings and on the grounds.

To use the Code Blue system, simply push the red "Push for Help Button," which activates a blue strobe light and immediately connects you to campus security personnel. To use any of the Emergency telephones, simply dial 7911 for security assistance.

Cambrian Campus Watch

Campus Watch encompasses a number of programs on campus, including:

  • Safety Escort Program
  • Work Alone Program
  • Victim Assistance Program
  • Security Audits
  • Emergency Services
  • Personal Safety Tips

The Safety Escort Program is available to students, employees, and visitors, who wish to be escorted to the residences, to their vehicle on the property, or to the perimeter of the College property. This program provides a high degree of comfort to those who are uneasy about walking alone.

All programs are available 24/7. Please contact the security office (room 2036) at extension 7230 or 7298.

How Will the College Respond to a Report of Sexual Violence ?

In most cases where a complaint of sexual violence has been reported to the College, we will exercise care to protect and respect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent.

However, if we believe that the safety of other members of the College community is at risk, the College may be required to initiate an internal investigation and/or inform the police of the need for a criminal investigation, even without the person's consent. If so, the confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritized.

A report of sexual violence may also be referred to the police, or to other community resources at the complainant's request, where the persons involved are not members of the College community or where the College is unable to initiate an internal investigation under the Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy.

Where the Respondent is a Student

Sexual violence is a violation of this Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy. It is considered a serious offence and will be addressed in the same way as other serious offences. Please see Cambrian's Code of Conduct for more details on each disciplinary process.

Where the Respondent is an Employee

Sexual violence is a violation of Cambrian's Code of Conduct. Allegations against employees will be addressed in accordance with the procedures set out in this Policy, and in any applicable collective agreement, and/or other College policies. If the complaint is sustained following an investigation, the College will decide on the appropriate disciplinary actions consistent with any applicable collective agreement and/or policies regarding discipline.

Where the Respondent is not a Student or Employee

Contractors, suppliers, volunteers or visitors who attend on campus will be subject to complaints if they engage in prohibited conduct. Where a complaint against the respondent is substantiated, the College will take appropriate action. All contractual relationships entered into by the College will be governed by a standard contract compliance clause stating that contractors must comply with the Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy and the Ontario Human Rights Code, including co-operating in investigations. Breach of the clause may result in penalties, cancellation, or other sanctions.

Multiple Proceedings

Where criminal and/or civil proceedings are commenced in respect of the allegations of sexual violence, the College will conduct its own independent investigation into such allegations, and will make its own determination in accordance with its policies and procedures. Where there is an ongoing criminal investigation, the College will cooperate with the local police.

Complaint Process
Right to Withdraw a Complaint

You have the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process. However, the College may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its obligation under this Policy and/or its legal obligations.

Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats

It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals, or threaten to retaliate against you or another individual for:

  • having pursued rights under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code;
  • having participated or co-operated in an investigation under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code; or
  • having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Anyone engaged in such conduct may be subject to sanctions and/or discipline.

Unsubstantiated or Vexatious Complaints

If you, in good faith, disclose or file a sexual violence complaint that is not supported by evidence gathered during an investigation, your complaint will be dismissed. Disclosures or complaints that are found following an investigation to be frivolous, vexatious or bad faith complaints, that is made to purposely annoy, embarrass or harm the respondent, may result in sanctions and/or discipline against you.