Sexual Violence and Misconduct Response Guidelines
This college policy outlines how survivors of sexualized violence – no matter when or where such events occurred – will be supported, and what they can expect in terms of that college support. As a member of the college community, you are part of “the college” and are required to follow policy.
The college acknowledges that sexual misconduct is an act of violence wherein power and control are enacted in a sexualized manner.
Camosun College is committed to creating and maintaining a healthy learning and working environment in which sexual violence and misconduct is not tolerated. the college understands the critical requirement to ensure supports for individuals and groups facing intersecting forms of oppression (e.g. colonization, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc.), as they are at greater risk for sexual misconduct.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a consistent and supportive response to students at Camosun College who disclose experiences of sexual violence. It also provides information clarifying existing processes, procedures, services and supports available within the college and broader community for students’ consideration. These guidelines have been developed to inform and assist students.
Please note: If you are a college employee and are involved as either a complainant or respondent to a complaint involving a student, you should contact Human Resources, and/or your union representative, if applicable, for information and assistance.
Supporting Documents PDF
- Immediate Support Guidelines Following a Disclosure
- Reporting and Complaint Guidelines
- Temporary Accommodations
- Protected Disclosure [Protection from Retaliation]
- Assessment & Investigation
- Interim Measures
- Withdrawing a Complaint to the Institution
- Receiving a Disclosure of Sexual Violence or Misconduct
- Supports and Services
Immediate Support Guidelines Following a Disclosure
Support for Students who have experienced sexual violence or misconduct
- All members of the college community have a responsibility to assist students who have disclosed that they have experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct.
- This includes ensuring that students are aware that a policy and formal supports exists and specifically referring students to the college’s website to access the policy and ensuring they are aware that there is an Office of Student Support.
- The college’s role is not to encourage them to disclose all details of the occurrence, but to direct the individual to receive information and support in a sensitive, respectful and timely manner.
- Students who have experienced sexual violence or misconduct should be directed to the Office of Student Support first. The Counselling Department and Camosun Security will also ensure that students are aware of the Office of Student Support and the Student Support Manager’s role in accessing supports, including accommodations.
Support for students who are accused of sexual violence or misconduct – the “respondent”
If a student who is accused of sexual misconduct requests support, they are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Support who can refer them to campus support services and off-campus resources.
Note: For specific suggestions on how to respond to a person’s disclosure of sexual violence or misconduct, please see refer to the Giving Support section of this website.
Reporting and Complaint Guidelines
- A range of options is available for students who have experienced sexual violence or misconduct.
- It is important to remember and maintain that the decisions on the following actions are the choice of the individual who has experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct. In these guidelines, they are referred to as the “survivor” or, once they submit a complaint, as the “complainant.”
- All reasonable efforts will be made to respect and support the survivor’s wishes in choosing any course of action.
- The policy addresses accommodations that may be required including academic accommodation. Faculty, chairs and deans are required to work with the Student Support Manager to find options that support the student in a timely and respectful way.
- More than one option may be chosen.
- The options for pursuing action regarding sexual violence or misconduct include the following:
A. Report to the college
- In this option, a person who has experienced sexual misconduct chooses to report this to the college.
- The incident may or may not have occurred on campus and may or may not have involved other college students and/or staff. The focus of the policy is on the survivor of sexualized violence and misconduct.
- The report does not constitute a complaint or request for action on the part of the college.
- The report will, however, be referred to the Office of Student Support to determine whether there may be any threat to members of the college or broader community.
B. Formal complaint to the college
- In this option, a person who has experienced sexual violence or misconduct chooses to make a formal complaint to the college, providing information about this incident. In making a formal complaint, the student is requesting action be taken on the part of the college.
- All complaints will be referred to the Office of Student Support. The Office of Student Support will assist the complainant in understanding all available options so the individual is able to make an informed decision.
- Note that the formal complaint may include an incident that has occurred off campus. The complainant may or may not have formally reported to external agencies including police.
In consideration of the information and circumstances of each individual case, an internal assessment and/or resolution process within the Office of Student Support may be initiated. An external investigation may also be required.
- If extenuating circumstances prevent a student from reporting an incident to the Office of Student Support, the student may request a trusted member of the college community or a designated third party to initiate the complaint on their behalf by signing a consent form.
- The individual lodging a complaint to the college has the right to withdraw the complaint at any time, unless an investigation is required, due to a perceived threat.
B.1 Sexual Misconduct between a Student and a Student
- Complaints involving a student and another student will be managed through the Office of Student Support.
B.2 Sexual Misconduct between a Student and an Employee
- Complaints involving a student and an employee will be managed through the Office of Student Support and simultaneously with the Executive Director, Human Resources Department.
- In these instances, the Office of Student Support will facilitate coordination of processes with Human Recourses to ensure adherence to the appropriate procedures and contractual obligations.
C. Report to the Police
- In this option, a student who has experienced sexual violence chooses to make a report to the police.
- the college will cooperate with any criminal investigation. Support and assistance will be available to the student through the Student Support Office and the Counselling Department.
Temporary Accommodations and Supports
- A student who has experienced sexual violence or misconduct may require academic accommodations and college supports to support their safety and academic success.
Students Seeking Temporary Accommodations
- Students seeking academic accommodation may seek guidance in making the request by contacting the Office of Student Support. A student requesting an academic accommodation under this policy is not required to file a complaint of sexual misconduct to receive an academic accommodation. The Student Support Manager will work with the college and will be the main liaison with the survivor.
- Students seeking temporary accommodations can either be an individual who has experienced sexual misconduct or a student respondent.
- All reasonable accommodations will be considered.
- Supporting documentation may be required in this process.
Students Requiring Long Term Accommodations
- When long-term accommodations are required, these will be determined and facilitated in consultation with the Centre for Accessible Learning processes regarding notification and accommodation.
Respondents Requiring Accommodations
- Student respondents seeking accommodations will be managed through the Office of Student Support.
- The privacy and confidentiality of all members of the college community involved in any complaint of sexual misconduct or violence will be protected to the extent possible.
- However, in accordance with the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy, confidentiality may need to be breached in the following situations:
- When an individual is identified as being at imminent risk of harming self and/or others.
- When there are reasonable grounds to believe that members of the college community or wider community may be at risk of harm.
- In order to promote fairness of process for all parties involved.
- When notification and/or action is required by law, other college policies or an external body with proper authority, [e.g. if a person involved is a minor].
- A student will be notified by the Office of Student Support if confidentiality will be breached, in accordance with privacy legislation and applicable laws and policies.
Protected Disclosure (Protection from Retaliation)
- It is contrary to this policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate against the person making a complaint, a witness or other individual for:
- Having pursued options under this policy or other relevant provincial or federal legislation;
- Having participated or co-operated in a complaint under this policy; or
- Having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this policy.
Assessment & Investigation
- When a complaint involving sexual misconduct is received, an assessment will be conducted by the Student Support Manager in order to determine whether an investigation is warranted, or whether other actions are recommended.
- When a complaint is received, the Office of Student Support will assess the request to ensure it falls within the scope of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy.
- If so, the complaint may result in a confidential internal college pre-investigation and/or an external investigation undertaken by an independent party.
- Where the matter falls outside the scope of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy, the student will be referred to the appropriate college policy or to another college service or community resource for assistance.
- Assessment outcomes will be communicated in writing to the relevant parties.
- Where the matter falls within the scope of the Policy and pertains to an allegation involving a student and an employee or other non-student member of the college community, the Office of Student Support and Executive Director, Human Resources will coordinate communication, assessment and investigation processes.
- Internal college pre-investigations will be led by the Office of Student Support, under the supervision of the Director, Student Affairs.
- If, and when it is determined that a more extensive investigation should take place, this will be conducted by an external investigator, coordinated by the Director, Student Affairs.
- Investigations will include an information gathering and assessment process used to determine the nature and circumstances of alleged wrongdoings, matters of credibility, and whether it is more probable than not that a breach of this policy has occurred.
- The investigation process may include, but is not limited to, witness interviews, collection and review of written statements, notes, logs, papers, digital and print records, and any other relevant materials.
- When the determination is that the college’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy has been breached, the Office of Student Support, in collaboration with appropriate designated college authorities, will recommend sanctions to the Office of the VP Student Experience.
- Once the decision on sanctions has been rendered, the Office of Student Support will communicate the outcome of the investigation to the parties involved in the complaint.
Sanctions or Disciplinary Measures
- Sanctions and disciplinary measures involving student respondents will be decided by the Office of the Vice-President, Student Experience. Disciplinary decisions involving employee respondents will be determined in consultation with the Human Resource Department.
- The principle of natural justice will inform these decisions.
- When an investigation establishes that that a student has violated the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy, sanctions or other disciplinary measures may be imposed, up to and including suspension from the college.
- In any complaint of sexual violence or misconduct, prior to the commencement of an investigation or resolution process, the college may impose interim measures, as may be appropriate for the safety of the individuals involved, and the college community.
- Interim measures involving students may include, but are not limited to:
- Alteration of the academic schedule and/or learning placement of any students involved in a complaint of sexual violence or misconduct;
- No-contact undertakings or no-contact directives between the parties;
- Restrictions on access to all or some parts of the college facilities or grounds;
- Temporary, non-disciplinary leave of absence for the person alleged to have engaged in and or committed sexual violence or misconduct; and
- Any other interim restrictions as may be determined by the college.
Withdrawing a Complaint to the Institution
- A student complainant may withdraw their complaint to the college by making a written request to Office of Student Support. Upon receipt of a request to withdraw, except in cases where it is deemed that an investigation must proceed, the complaint process will cease and the parties will be notified.
- Disputes regarding sanctions or other disciplinary action imposed for violations of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy must be addressed as follows:
- Students wishing to file a dispute about the reporting or investigation process may do so by notifying the Vice President, Student Experience in writing of the concerns. Disputes regarding sanctions imposed for violations of the sexual violence misconduct policy must be addressed through the appeal procedure(s) associated with this policy.
Receiving a Disclosure of Sexual Violence or Misconduct
When we receive a disclosure of sexual violence or misconduct from a student, our primary goal is to refer the student to the appropriate services that can provide the support and information they need. We can do this in a respectful and supportive manner, without delving in to the sensitive complexities of the situation. Our role is to act as a ‘bridge’, connecting the student with the help they need, provided by those with the knowledge and skill to assist.
If someone begins tell you about an experience of sexual violence or misconduct, respond in a way that supports their individual dignity, and demonstrate compassion and respect. It is very important that they feel that you believe them. In these sensitive situations, convey to them that you will assist them, but that they do not need to disclose any specifics of their experience to you at this time.
Note: Disclosing specific information may actually decrease, not increase, the individual’s emotional safety and stability, and may compromise the objectivity of future investigative actions.
Our goal is to ensure that the survivor connect with a professional support person, allowing the survivor can safely share the details of their experience and receive appropriate assistance.