NEWS

Campuses must do more against sexual assault, study finds

11/20/2014 06:09 EST | Updated 01/20/2015 05:59 EST
Post-secondary campuses need better policies on how to deal with sexual assault, according to a new study of campuses across Canada. 

A recent study of 15 post-secondary campuses by Metrac, a Toronto-based community safety group, found a severe lack of clarity in how schools handle sexual assault. 

The vast majority of schools don't have a clear sexual assault policy, sexual assault is often undefined and other issues like confidentiality are handled inconsistently, according to Metrac. 

Researchers recommend an overarching policy for schools across the country. 

"We need to take it seriously on all levels of government and in our communities," said Metrac spokeswoman Andrea Gunraj. "We need to do something and be committed to stopping this violence."

"Something big needs to happen to address sexual violence and make it a thing of the past," Gunraj said. 

Ryerson University student Awo Abokor says a lot has changed on the Toronto campus since she arrived four years ago -- there's now a support line for victims, electronic safety alerts on campus and more conversations about consent. 

"It's definitely an ongoing process, whether that be at Ryerson or at Canada in general," Abokor told CBC News. 

But, she added, "it's not just a one-off thing. It's going to have to continue for a very long time." 

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