UBC’s sexual assault panel report has come down.
The fifty-two page document makes a series of recommendations and goals to achieve.
Among them: foster a climate that takes sexual abuse seriously.
Be open in terms of communication when an assault has occurred; share the information with all who need to know.
Believe the survivors of the abuse….and respond to their disclosures in a timely manner.
And, develop a centralized body to oversee and coordinate a response to any report of a sexual assault.
Advocate questions report
At least advocate for sexual abuse survivors says the new report by the UBC’s sexual assault panel does not go far enough and misses a chance to recommend what survivors of sexual assault really need.
Hilla Kerner, Spokesperson for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, says it is “a very weak report.”
Beyond acknowledging woman are the victims of sexual assault on campus, Kerner says it’s still unknown what sort of support a woman will get.
“We want to see this university taking on the role of an advocate when it comes to the criminal justice system, we want to see the university committing to making sure the criminal justice system, starting with the police, treating women’s complaints seriously.”
Kerner says one other thing that’s missing is a call for a campus advocate for women who’ve been assaulted.
“Because we know that the criminal justice system is very weak when it comes to sexual assault, and the university has a role to advocate for women who do come forward and report a sexual assault on campus.”
The report does call for a change in culture from where “sexualized violence is normalized” to taking sexual abuse seriously.
A social work professor on the UBC sexual assault panel says the university needs organized protocol on how to deal with these cases in the future.
Natalie Clark told The Simi Sara Show that in order for students to regain trust in the school there needs to be a process for students to report sexual assault.
“It needs to be centered. I mean that was really one of our recommendations as well. That survivors and those receiving disclosures be able to navigate the system and understand what’s going to happen.”
She says the university is training staff on dealing with victims coming forward and giving them the right information.