Bishop’s University launches new sexual violence reporting platform

By Michael Boriero
Bishop’s University launches new sexual violence reporting platform
REES CEO and Founder Mary Lobson (Photo : Courtesy)

Bishop’s University has announced a new partnership with REES, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week centralized online reporting and information platform, which gives students, staff, and faculty another method to report sexual violence.

REES, which stands for respect, educate, empower survivors, can be found in many universities across Canada. However, according to a press release, Bishop’s is the “first post-secondary institution in Quebec to adopt REES.” The platform launched in 2020.

REES CEO and Founder Mary Lobson was contacted by a group of students, and members of the Bishop’s Sexual Culture Committee. The platform was presented to the administration, and the university eventually struck a three-year agreement to provide REES on campus.

“We view our relationships with institutions really as partnerships towards change. Our hope, and I think our mutual hope, is that having REES available on campus can provide increased reporting options, as well as providing information about supports and resources,” she said.
In a phone interview, Lobson said students will have several reporting options on the platform. They can make anonymous reports, find resources and support, file a formal complaint to the university, and identify individuals who have harmed more than one person, she explained.

“We created it so that survivors have options around how they share their story, who they share it with, and so it’s very much survivor-led in terms of how each individual person comes to the platform,” said Lobson, adding all records are encrypted and stored in Canada.
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