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Montreal, August 18, 2016 — John Abbott College’s actions in addressing the case of “Emily”, a student who was sexually assaulted on campus last June, are promising steps in the right direction.

At a meeting held yesterday with the College’s Director General, Human Resources Director and Counsellor, Emily and her family were informed of concrete support, protection and prevention measures which the College will be taking to ensure her safe return to school next Monday.

The College’s undertaking to review its sexual violence policy is also encouraging as it demonstrates a willingness to improve the situation for Emily and all other students who may be vulnerable to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“We laud the marked change of tone and direction at John Abbott, and we look forward to learning from our daughter’s case in order to achieve, together, the institution’s key mission, i.e. success for students in their studies and future careers,” said Emily’s mother. “We are proud that our daughter has stood up for her rights and that in doing so, she is encouraging other women to do the same.”

Emily, her family and CRARR will not comment on the report that the male aggressor will not be returning to the College this Fall. The overriding concern from the beginning has been Emily’s well-being, safety and ability to pursue her studies.

CRARR will be discussing with Emily and her family the kind of actions that still need to be taken in order to address the manner in which different Montreal Police officers handled the case from the start, including the option of filing complaints regarding officers’ conduct that could be tainted by gender bias or that created gender-based discriminatory effects.

CRARR encourages other stakeholders to discuss the need for provincial legislation on campus sexual violence, similar to that adopted in Ontario (the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, adopted in March 2016) and in numerous U.S. jurisdictions, as a way to ensure standardized effective institutional responses, enhance survivors’ protection and support, and eliminate systemic obstacles for survivors inside educational institutions, law enforcement services, the judiciary and the health care system.

An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related matters.pdf349.35 KB