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May 10, 2018 – On May 30 and 31, the first bilingual and multidisciplinary Canadian Symposium on Sexual Violence in Post-Secondary Education Institutions will take place at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Organized by the same team that produced the Enquête Sexualité, Sécurité et Interactions en Milieu Universitaire (ESSIMU), the event is directed by UQAM professor Manon Bergeron, in conjunction with the IMPACTS project team, led by McGill University professor Shaheen Shariff. The symposium will bring together francophone and anglophone universities and CEGEPs, as well as community partners to showcase current research in the field and foster a consistent approach to preventive interventions in sexual violence across post-secondary institutions. The event is also intended to inspire participants' thinking on issues that could serve as research topics in the future.

When: May 30 and 31, 2018

Where: Pavillon Sherbrooke (SH), UQAM
200 Sherbrooke St. West
Métro Place-des-Arts

All participants must register

The symposium:
This event will bring together 200 participants, including researchers from six provinces, members of the student population, college-level and university groups, academic leaders and non-profit organizations.

Programming will center around seven themes:
1) conceptualizing sexual violence;
2) legal issues inherent in the ways institutions handle reports and complaints;
3) implementation of preventive interventions;
4) specific needs of people who self-identify differently in terms of sex and gender;
5) how institutions respond in terms of their legal obligations, policies and educational mission;
6) the role of the arts and popular culture in (re)producing and protesting rape culture;
7) challenges facing the media and social media around sexual violence.
The content that will be distributed as a basis for exchanges comes from recent research conducted in Canada, notably the ESSIMU study, work done in the IMPACTS project and the implementation of prevention programs in Ontario.

Full programme

In 2014, an independent team supported by the Réseau québécois en études féministes (RéQEF), the Service aux collectivités de l’UQAM and the Regroupement québécois des centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (RQCALACS) launched a research project on sexual violence on campus, the first initiative of its kind in Quebec. Under the direction of Manon Bergeron, a professor in the Département de sexologie at UQAM, the study brings together 12 researchers from six francophone universities in Quebec: UQAM, Université de Montréal, Université Laval, Université de Sherbrooke, UNiversité du Québec en Outaouais, and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

The ESSIMU study painted a picture of sexual violence on Quebec campuses. A total of 9,284 individuals, students and university staff from six Quebec universities, answered the online questionnaire. The study showed that 36.9% of respondents reported having experienced at least one form of sexual violence in a post-secondary institution committed by someone attached to the university since entering university; certain social groups are the target of more sexual violence, notably women (40.6%) and those from sexual minorities (49.2%) and gender minorities (55.7%). Only 9.6% of the victims had reported or disclosed the event to authorities at their university.

To read the report (in French):

The work by researchers for the IMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus project makes a complementary contribution to the field of sexual violence and rape culture on campus. Research is organized around three themes: the role of the university (policies, legal recourse and education), the influence of the arts and pop culture, and the influence of the media and social media. Under the direction of McGill professor Shaheen Shariff, IMPACTS is the first project of its kind aiming to prevent sexual violence by taking a partnership approach in the domains of education, the law, policy, the arts, pop culture, information and social media.

UQAM Mcgill

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Anik Veilleux, media relations consultant
Media relations and special events
UQAM communications
Tel.: 514-987-3000, ext. 5184

Cynthia Lee
Media Relations
McGill University
Tel.: 514-398-6754

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