Sexual violence across Canadian campuses

Incoming university and college students across Canada are excited to begin a new chapter. Many parents will lecture their children on maintaining healthy study habits, keeping their dorm rooms clean and organized, and practicing good budgeting skills. Conversations some parents may not have with these young adults are about the increased risk of sexual violence across higher education campuses.

The highest rates of sexual violence on campus occur within the first year of higher education, and the most incidents occur within the first few weeks on campus (Canadian Federation of Students, 2015). The widespread availability of technology and social media has influenced sexual and health education. Subsequently, much of this media has spread misinformation on appropriate behaviours pertaining to healthy relationships and sexual activities. This missed opportunity to educate young minds on safety in dating contributes to the rise in unhealthy relationships and dating across higher education campuses in Canada. Without parental intervention, many young people are entering this uncertain period in their lives lacking clear direction, and misinformed practices on navigating safe and healthy relationships.

Recently, the Government of Ontario has released their revised version of the sexual and healthy education curriculum. The curriculum remains largely unaltered from the release in 2015, which includes much needed topics on: consent, same-sex relationships, gender, sexuality and healthy relationships. With comprehensive sexual health education curriculum, schools are well placed to facilitate conversations among young people about gender, sexuality and choice. Education is the first step in reducing sexual violence. Ontarians must learn what actions are appropriate, and which actions are respectful towards intimate partners. With education, we will be able to reduce the cycle and pervasiveness of sexual violence and rape culture. 

Canadian Federation of Students. (Spring 2015). Sexual Violence on Campus. Canadian Federation of Students. Retrieved from: https://cfs-fcee.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Sexual-Violence-on-Campus.pdf

Let's stay in touch

Get WomanACT news delivered to your inbox.

Other articles you might be interested in:

The Gender Pension Gap and Equal Pay

In Canada, the gender pension gap is a growing factor of senior poverty that disproportionately affects older women and reduces their well-being, in terms of health and economics. The impact […]


City of Toronto’s Budget for 2024

WomanACT’s 2024 Pre-Budget Submission Violence against women is not only a human rights violation but has devastating physical, emotional, social and economic consequences for women. Housing, homelessness, and intimate partner […]


Intimate Partner Violence and Hidden Homelessness

Violence against women is one of the main causes of homelessness and housing instability among women and children.   Approximately 30% of Canada’s homeless population are women, 91% of whom have […]


Uniting For Change: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Sheds Light on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

As the nation prepares to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we emphasize the critical importance of this day in shedding light on the heartbreaking issue of missing […]


WomanACT teams up with Uber Canada to help tackle gender-based violence

WomanACT is proud to partner with Uber as part of Uber’s Driving Change initiative, a global commitment to support and partner with leading sexual assault and domestic violence organizations around the […]


Femicide in Canada

What is femicide? The United Nations has recognized femicide as the most extreme form of violence and discrimination against women and girls. Femicide is defined as the killing of women […]


The financial literacy gender gap is a little more complex than we think

Finances play an important role in every person’s life. But despite advances made to women’s economic security in recent decades, women continue to face very different financial challenges than men. […]