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St. Lawrence College applauds commitment to improve help-line services for sexual assaults

2015-03-09

St. Lawrence College applauds the Wynne government’s announcement today that it will act on the college sector’s recommendation to improve provincial help-line services for survivors of sexual assaults.

“It has been clear in our consultation with students and others that Ontario’s emergency help-line services need to be improved,” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College. “The measures announced by the government today will help strengthen the support for survivors.”

Premier Kathleen Wynne publicly released today the government’s provincial action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment in Ontario. The plan includes measures to raise public awareness, improve training throughout the public sector and to improve safety on Ontario’s post-secondary campuses and in workplaces.

The plan includes new measures to address a request from college presidents for improvements to emergency help-line services to better support survivors throughout the province. The government’s action plan calls for existing help lines to be coordinated and integrated.

Ontario’s colleges are currently finalizing a stand-alone policy and protocol that will be publicized at each college by March 31. The colleges have been consulting with students throughout the province and are grateful for the input and advice that has been received. The college sector has also been consulting with the Ontario Women’s Directorate, government officials, OPSEU and others.

Building on existing policies and practices at the colleges, the document includes recommendations for promoting greater awareness at colleges and establishing a clear protocol for responding to cases of sexual assault and violence on college campuses. There is also information about protecting people’s privacy and the steps that should be taken if someone witnesses a sexual assault or has learned about a sexual assault.

The stand-alone policy and protocol at each college will enhance the provincial action plan and help ensure that Ontario’s colleges are safe and welcoming environments for students and everyone involved in college education.

“This continues to be a priority for us,” said Vollebregt. “We will continue to work with students and others to ensure everyone’s rights are understood and survivors of sexual assault get effective and immediate help.”

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For media information:

Laura Tulchinsky
St. Lawrence College, Communications
613-544-5400, ext. 1291
Cell: 613-329-2451