Resources and Support
Follow-up Response: Additional reporting of the assault
If you believe you have been sexually assaulted, you may want to tell somebody other than a friend or family member. You may choose to discuss the assault with personnel at the University. Victims of assault may wish to discuss the assault with university personnel for the purposes of seeking emotional support and/or for the purposes of making a report about the assault to university and/or law enforcement officials.
Where you wish to make a report, you have two options (as set out below); a person may pursue any and all forms of recourse. Only you can decide what to do. In most cases, you can decide what material you will and will not disclose when you report. Where you wish support without making a report, please see On Campus Resources and/or Off Campus Resources for more information.
NOTE: Reporting and Investigation of a Sexual Assault Perpetrated by a University Employee. Brock University has a legal responsibility to provide a safe living, working and learning environment. Where an employee of the University becomes aware of a sexual assault which has been allegedly perpetrated by another University employee, there is a requirement to immediately report the incident to the Associate Vice-President, Human Resources (or designate) who will coordinate the investigation and University response. Any resulting disciplinary action will occur according to established University procedures and/or the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
The University will be supportive of a person assaulted or reporting an assault to University personnel. We generally utilize a client-centred approach that empowers the victim to make her/his own decisions about how to proceed. You can expect kindness, assistance and information, at the time of the assault and subsequently, from well-informed University personnel who are following a written and understood procedure.
Your options are for making a report are:
A. Reporting to the local police department is recommended and external to the University, although Campus Security Services will gladly make a referral and a representative of the University will accompany you if you wish. This may initiate a criminal investigation responsive to the Criminal Code of Canada. You cannot be forced to bring criminal charges. However, the Crown Attorney has the right to pursue criminal charges without your participation, although this is extremely unlikely.
B. A person may report a sexual assault to Campus Security Services and/or the Department of Residences (where the assault occurred in residence facilities) to learn about the option of an investigation and disciplinary action at the University. This path is mostly confidential and is unlikely to result in any disciplinary action without the victim’s approval. It is important to know that the victim may have a supporter (see suggestions in section above) present during the reporting and any subsequent disciplinary processes. The University will investigate all sexual assault incidents and reports of incidents. ("Investigate" is defined as following up on information, perhaps to evaluate, verify, confirm and amplify what is known.) The University will encourage victims of sexual assault to bring criminal charges or campus disciplinary action against a perpetrator, but it generally cannot compel them to do so. The University, however, maintains a higher standard for personal behaviour than that of the Criminal Code of Canada, as reflected in Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy and other policies/codes that guide behaviour of our community members. Therefore, the University may bring charges and initiate internal disciplinary procedures against an alleged perpetrator, and will generally seek the victim’s approval before proceeding.
What to expect regarding confidentiality:
The University does its best to respect the confidentiality of all persons. Staff from Personal Counselling, Student Health Services, Human Rights and Equity Services, Department of Residences, and Campus Ministries are not generally required to report conversations, within the limits of the law. These limits are usually defined as a threat of physical harm to another person or to one’s self. In addition, where an assault is alleged to have been perpetrated by a university employee and is reported to University personnel, they are required to report details of the assault as noted above.
The confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual assault must be strictly observed, except as it interferes with the University’s obligation to reasonably investigate allegations of sexual assault. Certain University administrators are informed about an assault on a “need to know” and confidential basis, but not necessarily of the identities of the persons involved. Human Rights and Equity Services collects statistics on incidents of sexual assault on campus, and Campus Security Services, the Student Conduct and Activities Officer, and the Department of Residences keep statistics on incidents of crime and misconduct on campus. Therefore, reports of the incidence of a sexual assault without details should be passed on to these departments even where the victim has chosen not to take any further action so the University is able to collect statistics that increase its ability to understand and address issues relating to sexual assault on our campus.