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Sexualized violence

Community safety is all our responsibility.

Supports and resources are available both on and off campus. 

Sexualized Violence refers to an act of violence, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is characterized by an attempt to threaten, intimidate, coerce, or engage in any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature against a member of the university community without that member’s consent.

Sexual assault (link to sexual assault page) and sexual harassment (link to sexual harassment page) are subsets of sexualized violence. Other examples, include but are not limited to, creating and/or sharing images non-consensually, stalking, (link to criminal harassment page) voyeurism, and stealthing.

Who experiences sexualized violence?

Anyone, regardless of gender, age, education, employment status, sexual orientation, cultural background, race, ethnicity, ability or disability, ancestry, or religion, can be subjected to sexualized violence. 
Sexualized violence is usually intertwined with other forms of oppression. For example, women with disabilities or Indigenous & racialized women may be at greater risk of experiencing sexualized violence than others. We know that sexualized violence is mostly experienced by women, children – including boys – and transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Sexualized violence is not about desire and sexual attraction. It’s about power and control. It involves an abuse of power by a person with more social, academic, or employment power over someone with less power.

Video: What is Sexual Violence?

Impact & Consequences

  • insomnia or other sleep disturbances

  • change in appetite

  • headaches

  • stress-related ailments 

  • stomach ailments

  • decreased energy

  • self-blame, self-doubt, and guilt

  • distress

  • denial

  • mood swings 

  • depression

  • fear and anxiety

  • irritability

  • feelings of isolation 

  • feelings of intimidation

  • anger

  • restlessness

  • uncertainty over the future 

  • loss of ambition

  • physical or emotional withdrawal from friends, family, and co-workers

  • difficulty interacting with others

  • limiting of social interactions or self-isolation because one feels unsafe leaving the home or entering the work, study, or other space in which the sexual harassment occurred

  • generalized fears of people or things that remind one of the harassment 

  • alcohol or drug use/abuse

  • reduced productivity
  • decreased concentration
  • grades or employment record suffer
  • dropping out of school 
  • quitting one’s job
  • threatened or actual loss of job
  • threatened or actual loss of scholarships

  • threatened or actual loss of income and/or benefits
  • threatened or actual loss of promotions or merit increases
  • threatened or actual loss of research opportunities
  • threatened or actual loss of recommendations 
  • decrease in future academic or job opportunities (resulting from the above)
  • decrease in academic standing or professional reputation

Support for responding to a disclosure

Updated information on requirements for supervisors and managers to engage with the university’s sexualized violence advisor, Lyndsay Anderson, when you receive a disclosure or report of sexualized violence. 

The sexualized violence advisor will be flexible in terms of meeting with complainants, including virtual meetings and meetings at alternate locations on campus at the request of the complainant. Please call 902-494-6672 or email to schedule a meeting.

Video: Speak Truth to Power: Sounding the Alarm on Gender-Based Violence