Results of Provincial government sector-wide survey on sexual violence

The results from the “Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey” have recently been released to the University and are available on the Ontario’s Universities website. The survey is an important instrument to review as it provides critical feedback from our students. Sexual violence is a pervasive, societal problem and the survey results and insights demonstrate that more needs to be done. York University is committed to supporting our community and to continuously assessing and improving our efforts to end sexual harassment and violence.

The feedback and data will:

  • allow for deeper analysis of our students’ needs;
  • provide a good comparison for future surveys and results;
  • inform where we might create or expand our programming, services and training provided to our community;
  • provide us with the opportunity to identify areas that require enhanced communication; and
  • develop campaigns to address issues raised to meet the needs of our community members.

This survey was conducted between February & April 2018 by CCI Research Inc. on behalf of the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities. At the time the survey was administered, York University’s Policy on Sexual Violence was in the process of being reviewed and was approved in December 2019. We will be reviewing the Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey data carefully to ensure that any concerns have been or will be addressed.

The Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education opened to the community in July 2018. Since that time, staff of the Centre have focused on building trust, building awareness to the community of the existence, services and training that the Centre is able to provide. In addition, the Centre has been able to build partnerships within our own campus community, our external community and with leading experts to shape the programming, communication, services as well as the education/training the Centre provides.

In response to community input, the Centre simultaneously launched the newly designed website and two online training modules which focused on York’s Policy on Sexual Violence, Consent & Responding to Disclosures (Step 1 & Step 2). This was an important time as the evolution of the Centre also brought with it a greater awareness of the services and supports that were offered to the entire community on sexual violence response, consent and innovative and progressive programming such as the active bystander program.
The Centre has continued to offer dynamic and informative training to staff, faculty and students in a variety of ways. Training is focusses on building a consent culture and creating safer spaces.

  • Consent Week – events at the Keele campus as well as the Glendon campus in both the fall and winter semesters to elevate the conversations about consent and healthy relationships.
  • Consent training – infused from the moment students enter our campus both in person and online – is provided in modules through YU START, the New Student Transition Program designed to support students throughout their first year.
  • Orientation Week as an opportunity to educate 6000+ first-year students using a play that focuses on consent, different ways of being an Active Bystander and ways to access support on campus.
  • Peer leaders across the community complete our training, including the Active Bystander Program, which is also offered to student clubs, council, students in residence and students at large.
  • The Centre has just completed training 180 faculty and staff in the Active Bystander Program. Training is ongoing.

Since 2018, The Centre has made great strides to enhance services and improve the ways in which we share this information with community members. Please review our annual report for details. Additionally, we are particularly heartened that York’s investment in our Active Bystander training to students, staff and faculty has had an impact on behaviour.

York University is committed to adapting to the needs of our community by building ongoing, continuous efforts year-round that will continue to propel conversations about sexual violence response, the supports that we offer and ensuring our community members know that we will work with them to support their needs. We will engage the Sexual Violence Policy Advisory Committee to analyze the survey results in the near future.

York University is committed to finding innovative ways to educate our community through campaigns, while also focusing on adapting newer best practices when it comes to supporting survivors on our campus and through partnerships with community organizations. We are grateful to the 11,000 York University students who participated in the survey and to the many faculty, staff and students who work to support our community.