Sexual Violence and Harassment on Campus
Earlier this year, the Ontario Government announced a proposal of changes to sexual violence and harassment policies at post-secondary institutions to ensure that students alleging an instance of sexual violence and harassment are not faced with irrelevant questions about their sexual history, and do not face repercussions for violating an institution’s drug and alcohol policy.
These proposed changes are said to be aimed at reducing student concerns about stigma and fear when it comes to reporting incidents relating to sexual violence and harassment on our campuses. It has been widely known that many instances of sexual violence and harassment on and around campuses go unreported, and often this is because students are afraid of reprisal or concerned that they will not be taken seriously.
This webinar aims to magnify the focus on this topic by discussing the societal and environmental factors that contribute to the fear and stigma known to deter many from coming forward to report these incidents and how campus staff can take action to reduce these fears. Topics of exploration will include:
- Defining and contextualizing sexual violence and consent
- Understanding and unpacking ‘rape culture’
- Fear of coming forward: exploring reasons why students don’t report incidents
- Providing the right support: recommendations for staff on campus
Isabella Giuga, RSSW, presently serves as a Counsellor for the Durham Rape Crisis Centre, with a focus on youth support. She holds an Honours Bachelor’s Degree from Laurentian University in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Social Service Worker Diploma from Durham College. She has diverse work experience in feminist agencies; including violence against women shelters, and emergency housing non-profits across Durham Region including Girls Inc. of Durham, Bethesda House, Herizon House and Joanne’s House. Isabella is passionate about VAW work and dedicates her career to supporting and advocating for youth and women. She believes in being client centered, and empowering individuals to love and be their best selves through strength-based and solution focused therapy.
Tanya Montebello, RSW, is a Clinical Counsellor at the Durham Rape Crisis Centre. She has a BA in Social Development Studies, a Bachelor of Social Work, and is a Master of Social Work candidate at the University of Waterloo. She has also completed Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Addictions, and Trauma certificate courses at Wilfrid Laurier University. Tanya holds committee memberships on Trent University’s Social Work Community Advisory Council, the Concord Adex Survivors’ Education Fund, and the Durham Region Francophone Community Health Table. As a previous Caseworker for a Legal Aid Ontario community clinic, she also advocated in areas of poverty, sexual/domestic violence, and disabilities. Tanya believes in an anti-oppressive approach and practices with a commitment to social justice. She also served for three years in Afghanistan as a civilian with the Canadian Forces.
Alex Donaldson is a current MSW candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University. She recently completed a practicum with CICMH. She holds an Honors Bachelor’s Degree from Wilfrid Laurier in Human Rights & Human Diversity as well as a Social Service Worker Diploma from George Brown College. She has over 5 years of experience providing support to diverse women and youth experiencing mental health including working as a youth counsellor at the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant. She is passionate about reducing systemic barriers for people experiencing IPV and sexual violence and works to collaborate with community partners to support those at risk.