Local schools try a preventative take on sexual violence

By Gordon Lambie
Local schools try a preventative take on sexual violence

Moving away from home to go to college or university is often portrayed as an exciting time filled with opportunity and discovery. It is a time for forging life-changing relationships and reshaping world views in unexpected and exciting ways.
Sadly, this rosy impression sometimes falls far from the truth.

According to Bishop’s University’s Dean of Student Affairs Jackie Bailey, incidents of sexual violence have been shown to be disproportionately high in the first year of University. As a result of that fact, discussions on consent and intimacy have been growing increasingly common parts of school orientation weeks. This year, Bishop’s has decided to take that conversation a step further.

“I think we’ve always done really a good job of supporting anyone who has experienced sexual violence,” Bailey said. “All of our front-line services are really good at that, but we hadn’t dedicated a whole lot of resources or a whole lot of thought into how do we intentionally prevent it from every happening; ideally you would never want anyone to go through that kind of experience.”

Inspired by efforts at schools like the University of Windsor and the University of New Hampshire, the entire incoming class of students at Bishop’s was given what is known as “bystander intervention training” this week.

Read the full story in Friday’s Record.

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