The Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Office exists to provide support, information, referrals, resources, and guidance to any member of the campus community who has experienced sexual violence or been the target of sexual misconduct.
What constitutes sexual misconduct?
According to the University of Windsor’s policy, sexual misconduct is an umbrella term encompassing all forms of sexually inappropriate behaviour and sexual violence. These include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, threat of sexual assault, criminal harassment (including stalking and cyber harassment), relationship violence, and gender-based misconduct.
Examples of sexual misconduct, which may be verbal, non-verbal, or physical, include but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Unwanted attention
- Implied or expressed rewards or benefits for sexual favours and implied or expressed threats if sexual favours are denied
- Requests for sexual favours
- Indecent acts or exposure
- Unwelcome remarks and/or vexatious comments about someone’s sexuality, appearance and bodily presentation, and/or gender or gender expression
- Attempts to extort sexual favours
- Inappropriate touching
- Repeated and vulgar sexual comments
- Display of pornographic or suggestive calendars, signs, posters, and/or photographs
- Non-consensual posting of pictures, aggressive comments or stereotypes and slurs on social media, including, but not limited to: email, Facebook, and Twitter
- Non-consensual communications of a sexual nature (face-to-face, phone, email, social media)
- Threatening or obscene gestures
- Surveillance and pursuit
- Sending unsolicited gifts (romantic, bizarre, sinister, or sexualized)
- “Creeping” via social media or cyber-stalking
- Uttering threats
What are my responsibilities if someone discloses to me?
Duty to Refer: A faculty or staff member who receives a disclosure has a responsibility to provide a referral sheet to the survivor. The survivor may choose to act on such a referral.
Duty to Report: In most cases, staff and faculty are not obliged to report an incident of sexual misconduct unless they are in a supervisory role over one of the parties involved. Supervisors of employees have a legal duty to address sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that they witness or of which they have been informed. (Refer to Occupational Health and Safety Act and Human Rights Code). The University may have a duty to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct to address its civil, criminal, and human rights obligations. (Refer to Sections 6 and 9 of the University of Windsor Policy on Sexual Misconduct.) If you are uncertain, you can contact the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Office for guidance.
What are some basic guidelines for dealing with disclosures ethically and sensitively?
Please visit the UWindsor webpage "Give Support" for suggestions. The Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Office would be happy to speak further with any member of the campus community looking for help.
Who can seek support and information from the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Office?
Any member of our campus community (including students, faculty, staff, administrators, etc.) who has been directly or indirectly impacted by sexual misconduct is welcome to contact the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Office.
Survivors can seek support at any time, regardless of when their assault occurred or who perpetrated it.
Bystanders, friends, and family may also contact the office for information and support.
What are the reporting options?
There are three different “reporting” options available, which are known as disclosures, reports, and complaints.
Disclosure: A survivor or bystander may choose to informally disclose their experience for the purpose of seeking support, information, or guidance. Normally, this will not trigger any sort of investigation or formal procedure unless there is immediate risk to the campus community or safety of the parties involved. (Refer to Section 7.1 of the University of Windsor Policy on Sexual Misconduct.)
Report: A survivor may choose to confidentially report misconduct to the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Officer, to ensure that a formal record is created, while choosing not to file a formal complaint that triggers an investigation or formal procedure. Bystanders may choose to report acts of sexual misconduct that they witness or where they perceive a specific pattern of sexual misconduct that they believe is creating a hostile or toxic environment where they work, study, or live. (Refer to Section 7.2 of the University of Windsor Policy on Sexual Misconduct.)
Complaint: A survivor can use one or more complaint mechanism(s) at the institutional level to make a formal, written complaint regarding the sexual misconduct. The filing of a written complaint triggers a formal procedure at the institutional level, involving documentation, investigation, and formal and/or legal proceedings. (See Section 7.3 of the University of Windsor Policy on Sexual Misconduct.) Complaints are addressed through various University bylaws and policies, depending on who is involved. The Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Officer can help the survivor determine which policy to file the complaint under and will provide guidance through that process.
Does a student or employee need to file a complaint in order to receive accommodations?
In most cases, it will not be necessary to file a formal complaint in order to receive accommodation. In instances where it is necessary, the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention Officer will make every effort to keep the process as confidential as possible. If the process cannot be kept confidential, the survivor will be informed and s/he will have control over whether to proceed with the accommodation. (Refer to Section 6 of the University of Windsor Policy on Sexual Misconduct.)