An online reporting platform will help people who attend and work at Lethbridge’s two post-secondary institutions to report gender-based and s****l violence.
REES, the name of the platform, is an acronym for “Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors”.
The service, available 24/7, gives users more options to share information about an incident with their school or seek help anonymously if they are not ready to file a complaint. official complaint.
According to Mary Lobson, Founder and CEO of REES, it helps provide survivors with trauma-informed pathways and allows the school to collect data that can be used for prevention purposes.
“Results have been released in Alberta regarding s****l violence on campus: About half of students reported experiencing some form of s****l violence on campus or unwanted s****lized behaviors,” Lobson said.
“I think this is an important call for the powers that be, both as institutions and government, to really listen to this and see what can be put in place to create more pathways for people to come forward.”
In 2019, a Statistics Canada survey of “Life Safety in the Post-Secondary Student Population” indicated that 71 percent of students witnessed or experienced unwanted s****lized behavior over the course of the year, and fewer one in ten actually talked about what happened with an a*sociated person. with their school.
With some students attending both college and university during their college career, adopting a common reporting system should help familiarize them with the platform.
“We recognize that for an issue such as gender-based and s****l violence, having access to anonymous spaces to report rather than having to speak to someone really reduces barriers, so we wanted to make sure we provide a more focused option on the survivors. Carmen Guenther, wellness services manager at Lethbridge College, said.
“We are really focused on student growth and that’s where this platform also brings value, because it’s only when we feel safe that we can truly thrive and thrive in any context, and this is especially true in an academic context,” Mark Slomp, director of student services at the University of Lethbridge, explained.
U of L and Lethbridge College are the latest schools to join a growing number of post-secondary institutions across the country that have already implemented REES.
Lobson said more schools across the province should look to create better opportunities for their students.
“When we look at the province of Alberta, about half of the facilities only have email reporting,” Lobson said. “So thinking about it from a trauma perspective, from a privacy and data security perspective, that’s not really how higher education institutions should be collecting sensitive information like this- this.”
“Whether or not they adopt REES, they could definitely think about how they create avenues for people to come forward and ensure they are available, accessible and respect people’s privacy.
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