Okanagan College has launched an online reporting platform to give students and faculty another option to report sexual harassment, assault and misconduct on campus.
The platform was made possible with a partnership with Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors (REES). They provide multiple reporting options as well as information, resources and support for people on campus and in the community. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“While our sincerest hope is that no Okanagan College student will ever have need to use this platform, sadly we know that sexual violence remains all too prevalent in our society,” said Meri Kim Oliver, vice president of Students for Okanagan College. “It is of vital importance to us that students know what tools and processes are in place to support them at the college, and that our employees understand how and where to direct students to access these supports when needed.”
According to a 2019 Stats Canada survey, 71 per cent of post-secondary students have experienced or witnessed undesired sexual behaviours.
“REES is proud to support Okanagan College communities with a consistent, online reporting option as well as access to information about supports and resources,” says Mary Lobson, founder of REES.
Columbia Bible College, St. Francis Xavier University, the University of Windsor and the University of Winnipeg also collaborate with REES on their campuses.
Last fall, Okanagan College introduced a mandatory sexual violence and consent online course for all students.
“We encourage all members of our learning community to visit OC’s sexual violence information page to familiarize themselves with REES, with our Sexual Violence Policy, related policies, and the training and resources available.” said Meri Kim Oliver.