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NIC is committed to providing all members of the college community with a safe and secure environment free from all forms of sexualized violence. NIC will ensure that survivors and those impacted by sexualized violence are supported when addressing any disclosures or reports under the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response policy.
What is Sexualized Violence?
Sexualized Violence means any non-consensual and unwanted actual, attempted, or threatened act that is carried out through sexual means or by targeting a person’s sex, sexual identity, or gender identity or expression. The act may or may not involve physical contact, and includes all forms of sexual misconduct set out in the BC Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act
Sexualized violence can affect and involve individuals of all genders and sexual identities and can occur in any relationship, including family relationships, romantic relationships, casual encounters or by a stranger.
In Canada, the law clearly states that there has to be an affirmative "yes" - or voluntary agreement - between parties, to engage in sexual activity. Consent cannot be assumed - it must be clearly communicated. This requires that a consenting individual is able to freely choose between two options: "yes" and "no".
Specifically, this means that:
- consent is active and continuous, not passive or silent
- it is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in physical contact or sexual activity to make sure that they have consent from the other person(s) involved
- consent is not the absence of "no" or silence
- consent is required regardless of the parties' relationship status or sexual history together
- consent cannot be given by an individual if they are asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unable to communicate
- consent cannot be given by an individual if they are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs
- consent is not possible if an individual uses their position of power or authority to manipulate, threaten, or coerce someone into saying "yes"
- an individual can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter
Additional resources about consent:
We are committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment that is free from sexual violence and misconduct. When you come to us for support you can expect to:
- be treated with compassion, dignity and respect
- be provided with timely safety planning assistance
- be informed about on and off-campus support services and resources
- be provided with non-judgmental and empathetic support
- be provided with academic accommodation as appropriate
- be respected as you choose whether, and to whom, you wish to report your experience
- be the integral decision-maker in situations pertaining to you
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, talk to a college counsellor, student life or human resources. We will provide support services and accommodations in a safe, secure environment that respects your unique needs. Whether you choose to disclose or report your experience, we will help you get the support you need.
Your options include:
- Disclosure: disclosure is the point at which a student or employee makes it known to a member of the NIC community that they have experienced or witnessed sexual violence.
- a disclosure is different from a Report in that no formal investigation will result
- any member of the NIC college community who receives a Disclosure should refer the survivor or those impacted by sexualized violence to the appropriate services (counselling, human resources or the office of student life)
- members of the college community who receive a Disclosure may contact the counselling department, human resources or office of student life for advice or personal support
- members of the college community who receive Disclosures must obtain the consent of the person who disclosed to them before sharing any information
- Report: a report of sexual violence initiates an investigation or alternate resolution (https://www.nic.bc.ca/pdf/policy-3-34-sexualized-violence-prevention-and-response.pdf)
- students may file a report with counselling services or the office of Student Life: firstname.lastname@example.org
- a report can be withdrawn at any time
- a report may be started at NIC and with the RCMP at the same time
- anonymous or third-party reports can be made through human resources or counselling services
Get Urgent Support Now
At NIC, we believe everyone needs to be prepared to be part of the conversation about how to prevent and respond to sexualized violence. Sexualized violence can happen to anyone. Those who are directly impacted by sexualized violence are more likely to disclose sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence to someone they know and trust.
Your response to a disclosure can have a significant impact on what a survivor does next. Responding in a non-judgmental manner while prioritizing the safety of those impacted by sexualized violence and providing options or choices on what to do next will help to avoid re-traumatizing or re-victimizing someone who has disclosed to you.
Harmful and Helpful Responses to a Disclosure
Asking the person direct questions, trying to pull out details or talking incessantly.
Listening to what they say without judgement and letting them express themselves in their own way and at their own pace.
Appearing to be skeptical or questioning what the person tells you.
Believing what they tell you because it’s their experience and their perception. For the moment, you must focus on what they are saying and experiencing.
Trivialize, minimize or over-dramatize
Receiving what the person says without minimalizing or amplifying the facts, emotions or consequences.
Emphasize the person's weaknesses, what they could have said or done
Encourage their strengths
Recognizing their accomplishments and stress their strength and courage for talking about the traumatic experience.
Not getting involved in their story under the pretext that it’s not your business or that it’s not your problem or ignoring their request for help.
Give your support
Showing that you’re available whether for talking or to accompany them. If you feel incapable of helping them, it is important to tell them and to help them find another person who will be able to do so.
Blaming the person for what they didn’t do or implying that they must have provoked the incident or that they are partially responsible for what happened to them.
Getting them to understand that it’s not their fault, that the aggressor is completely responsible for his actions and that their responsibility is to take care of themselves.
Smothering the person or over-protecting them by forbidding them to go out, see friends or sleep away from home.
Foster their independence
Helping them take back power over their life while also being there and giving them room to breathe and start functioning normally again.
Turn the page
Keeping the person from expressing negative emotions they feel under the pretext that they mustn’t live in the past or that it isn’t good for them.
Validate their feelings
Helping them express what they feel by normalizing their reactions, emotions and feelings (anger, resentment, guilt, low self-esteem, etc.).
Once you have received a disclosure it is important that the person is feeling safe. If there are concerns for their immediate safety, encourage them to dial 911.
Help the person explore their options (link to Getting Support section of webpage) and go with them if they wish, for emotional support. Let them choose which services or resources they wish to use. If you are unable to emotionally distance yourself or to provide the appropriate support for meeting their needs, provide them with information on other professionals and resources (see list of resources).
Receiving a disclosure of sexualized violence can also have an impact on you. It can be very difficult to receive a disclosure of this nature.
Have you received a disclosure of Sexualized Violence?
If you are a student:
- speak to a counsellor at NIC (9 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday)
- speak to Student Affairs at NIC:
- Felicity Blaiklock, Director, Student Affairs – email@example.com / 250-724-8704
- submit a third-party report: https://endingviolence.org/prevention-programs/ccws-program/third-party-reporting-tpr/
- anonymous allegations, or allegations of sexualized violence made by someone other than the person who was directly subjected to the sexualized violence can be submitted through the counselling department
If you are an employee:
If you are an employee who has experienced or witnessed sexualized violence; or if you have received a disclosure and require support and/or if you are reporting an incident; and if you require employee support regarding sexualized violence please contact Human Resources:
- Human Resources – contact Danean Gray, Manager of Human Resources
- During business hours: Ph. 250-334-5000 ext. 4221
- After business hours: Cell. 778-585-4528
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Homewood Health – Employee and Family Assistance Program confidential service available 24 hours per day/7 days per week
- 1-800-663-1142 (toll free)
- International Calling (call collect) 604-689-1717
- TTY: 1-888-384-1152
View NIC’s Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy. Refer to page 4 of the policy for definitions of key words.
Disclosure and Reporting Options for Students
Reporting Options for Employees
For more information about our policy and processes (including supports), please make an appointment with Counselling or email email@example.com.
The Community Code of Academic, Personal and Professional Conduct 3-06 covers all other areas of expected behaviours, together these policies guide the welcoming, safe, inclusive environment for all. In addition, NIC is committed to implementing and actively promoting education and training programs to the college community, aimed at awareness and prevention of sexualized violence.
NIC is committed to implementing and actively promoting education and training programs to the college community, aimed at awareness and prevention of sexualized violence. NIC’s sexualized violence education and prevention efforts are led by the Sexualized Violence Education Team (SVET):
The SVET will:
- Implement and actively promote education and training programs to the college community that are pertinent to this policy, including programs aimed at awareness and prevention of sexualized violence that support survivors and those impacted by sexualized violence in a trauma-informed manner;
- Create a safe and supportive environment in which the barriers faced by survivors and those impacted by sexualized violence in Disclosing or Reporting sexualized violence are minimized, and where those who perpetrate sexualized violence are held accountable for their actions;
- Identify relevant and current resources to assist in promoting sexualized violence prevention methods and supporting survivors and those impacted by sexualized violence;
- Identify and attend professional development opportunities to become well-versed in educating and supporting the campus community in sexualized violence prevention methods and supporting survivors and those impacted by sexualized violence.
The SVET is committed to:
- Providing comprehensive and inclusive sexualized violence education. Through these initiatives, NIC is committed to promoting a culture of consent;
- Recognizing that people’s experiences will be affected by factors such as their access to power and privilege, their sex, sexual identity, gender identity or expression, racialization, age, family status, religion, faith, ability, disability, national or ethnic origin, Indigeneity, immigration status, socio-economic status, class, and language. NIC also recognizes that the college is an environment in which power imbalances are inherent, and that sexualized violence is a significant and systemic social and campus issue that can affect anyone at the college. NIC will take this into account when carrying out its responsibilities under this policy;
- Promoting a culture that supports and facilitates the Disclosure or Report of sexualized violence under this policy, understanding and acknowledging that those who have experienced sexualized violence may be traumatized by their experience;
- Reducing barriers to Disclosing and Reporting, and to taking a survivor-centered and trauma-informed approach when responding to Disclosures and Report, and when conducting investigations;
- Being accessible, relevant, and welcoming to the diverse NIC community;
- Recognizing that each member of the NIC community has a role to play in addressing sexualized violence and that changes to systems and culture will be required in all areas of College life;
- Team members will be free to engage in honest and frank discussions without the threat of reprisal while at the same time being mindful of the sensitive nature of the subject matter.
The membership of the Sexualized Violence Education Team will consist of a broad representation of stakeholders including students, employees (CUPE and NICFA), and administration. The SVET may bring in expertise from other areas as required, for example community members, etc.
If you have any questions related to the supports and education NIC provides, or about the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy, please feel free to contact us directly.
Felicity Blaiklock, Director, Student Affairs
Ph: 250-334-5000, ext. 8704
With thanks to our colleagues at UVIC, Camosun College, University of Ottawa, as well as other PSIs across Canada, for shared resources and inspiration.