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Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPR) Task Force

Purpose

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPR) Task Force has been established in accordance with McMaster’s Sexual Violence Policy to support the mandate of the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Office.

Expandable List

The Task Force has four broad responsibilities:

  1. To advise on the effectiveness of prevention and response programs and services;
  2. To consider emerging research and best practices in prevention and response;
  3. To suggest improvements to campus-wide prevention and response efforts; and
  4. To provide input to relevant prevention and response policies during review processes.

Guiding Principles

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response practices will centre a trauma-informed approach, forefront an ethic of care and empathic interactions, apply an anti-oppressive, intersectional, and culturally relevant lens, ensure procedurally fair processes, and pursue evidence-informed and community-engaged actions.

Practices will centre a trauma-informed approach by (1) recognizing the widespread traumatic effects of sexual violence on those who experience and those who are impacted by sexual violence, (2) considering the biopsychosocial signs and symptoms of trauma and the immediate and/or longer-term impacts on the holistic (physical, mental, sexual, emotional, spiritual, social) health and wellbeing of individuals involved, (3) ensuring knowledge about trauma is incorporated into policies, procedures, and practices, (4) avoiding re-traumatizing individuals who have experienced sexual violence and (5) promoting empowerment-oriented pathways to recovery.

To forefront an ethic of care and empathic interactions is to treat all persons involved with compassion and respect, including those who disclose or report an experience of sexual violence and those who are alleged to have caused harm or to have violated the sexual violence policy.

To apply an anti-oppressive, intersectional, and culturally relevant lens is to recognize the broader sociocultural context in which forms of sexual and gender-based violence occur and intersect with other forms of oppression (e.g., racism, ableism, and classism in addition to sexism, homophobia, and transphobia for instance) and to be cognizant of and work to counteract sociocultural myths about sexual violence, which create barriers to reporting and recovery.

To ensure procedurally fair processes is to adhere to principles of natural justice (e.g., the right to be heard and to impartiality) and due process (e.g., respect for the legal rights owed to persons) for all persons involved, including the right to confidentiality and timeliness through investigative processes in accordance with privacy legislation and other relevant legal and policy requirements.

To pursue evidence-based and community-engaged strategic actions is to recognize the need to be informed by current scholarship and best practices and to build communities of practice to mobilize effective collective efforts to change both individual behaviours and transform the culture.

Membership

The Task Force will be Chaired by the AVPEI (or designate) and must be representative of the diversity of McMaster’s student population, as well as faculty and administration.

Equity and Inclusion Office

  • AVPEI or designate – Chair
  • Coordinator, Sexual Violence Prevention Education (SVPRO) – Secretary

Students and Representatives of Student Voice

  • McMaster Student Union (MSU) Representative
  • Christina Devarapalli, MSU VP Admin temporarity in pace of *MSU Human Resources Generalist & Clubs Support (*paid non-student employee of the MSU)
  • MSU Women and Gender Equity Network (WGEN) Representative
  • MSU Pride Community Centre (PCC) Representative
  • MSU Diversity Services Representative
  • MSU Maccess Representative
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA) Representative
  • One or Two Varsity Leadership Committee (VLC) Representatives
  • Two SVPRO Peer Educators (graduate and undergraduate) selected by the Prevention Education Coordinator

Staff Representatives of Relevant Constituents and from Relevant Service Units 

  • Student Wellness Centre Representative
  • Indigenous Student Services Representative
  • Residence Life Representative
  • Student Success – Orientation and Transition Representative
  • Student Support and Case Management Office Representative
  • Human Resources Employee Relations Representative
  • Human Resources Organizational Development Representative
  • Security Services Representative
  • Graduate Studies Representative
  • UNIFOR Women’s Advocacy Representative
  • CUPE Human Rights and Equity Representative
  • University Ombuds 

Faculty Representatives of Relevant Constituents and with Relevant Scholarly, Professional, or Community Links 

  • Faculty member from the Faculty of Health Sciences Professionalism Office
  • MUFA Representative
  • Two faculty members at large whose academic, professional or community work is relevant to the mandate

Operation

The Chair will convene 1.5 hour-long monthly meetings of the Task Force. Adhoc sub-committees will be established, as needed, to work on initiatives to advance the four broad tasks. The Task Force may consult, engage and collaborate with relevant campus and local community partners and experts, as required.

Accountability

While sexual violence prevention and response is a campus-wide responsibility, accountability for the effective administration of prevention and response policies and programs resides with senior administrators who are vested with specific roles codified in the Sexual Violence Policy.

The Associate Vice-President Equity and Inclusion (AVPEI) oversees the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office within the Equity and Inclusion Office and is responsible for championing the effective development and implementation of sexual violence prevention and response strategies.

As the AVPEI reports to both the Provost & Vice President and the President & Vice-Chancellor, the Task Force is advisory to the AVPEI and accountable to both the President and the Provost through the AVPEI.

The Task Force mandate and membership are adherent to the Provincial Government’s requirements in relation to the establishment of post-secondary education task forces to combat campus sexual violence. Its work will be reported to the Senate and Board of Governors through the
Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) Annual Report posted to the EIO website. The annual report will also be submitted to the Ministry of
Training, Colleges and Universities.

 

SVPR Task Force Membership List
April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022

The Task Force will be Chaired by the AVPEI (or designate) and must be representative of the diversity of McMaster’s student population, as well as faculty and administration.

Equity and Inclusion Office
Arig al Shaibah, AVPEI – Chair
Wil Fujarczuk, Prevention Education Coordinator, SVPRO – Secretary

Students
Denver Della-Vedova, MSU Rep
Maddison Hempel, MSU Human Resources Generalist & Clubs Support
Neha Shah, WGEN Rep
Stephanie Chin, PCC Rep
Sofia Palmo Florido, Diversity Services Rep
Emunah Woolf, Maccess Rep
Darya Vorobyova, Varsity Leadership Committee Representative
Sarah Lade, GSA Rep
Sharon Lim, Undergraduate Peer Educator (SVPRO)
Jasmine Dzerounian, Graduate Peer Educator (SVPRO)

Staff
Rosanne Kent, SWC
Shylo Elmayan, ISS
Chris Eley, Residence Life
Michele Corbeil, SSC – Orientation and Transition
Kaitlin Kellogg, SSCMO
Courtney Livesey, HRS ELR
Deb Garland, HRS OD
Glenn DeCaire, Security Services
Andrea Cole, Graduate Studies
Karen Sutton, UNIFOR 555 Women’s Advocate
Laurie Sherry-Kirk, CUPE 3906 (TAs) Equity Officer
Carolyn Brendon, University Ombuds

Faculty
Anne Niec, Professor Pediatrics & Faculty Lead, Professionalism Office, Health Science
Ana Campos, MUFA Special Enquiries and Grievances
Mirna Carranza, Associate Professor, Social Sciences and School of Social Work
Karen Balcom, Associate Professor, Gender Studies and Feminist Research

Goal:
The purpose of the Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Strategy is to support the development of personal capabilities, establishment of organizational structures, and promotion of cultural norms to enhance individual, institutional, and community capacity for effective campus sexual violence prevention and response.

Objectives:
An annual strategic Action Plan will address two interrelated objectives: to develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based sexual violence prevention education programs which are tailored to different campus community audiences and contexts; and to develop, implement, and evaluate sexual violence policy response tools which are adherent to best practices in a post-secondary context.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response practices will centre a trauma-informed approach, forefront an ethic of care and empathic interactions, apply an anti-oppressive, intersectional, and culturally relevant lens, ensure procedurally fair processes, and pursue evidence-informed and community-engaged actions.

Practices will centre a trauma-informed approach by (1) recognizing the widespread traumatic effects of sexual violence on those who experience and those who are impacted by sexual violence, (2) considering the biopsychosocial signs and symptoms of trauma and the immediate and/or longer-term impacts on the holistic (physical, mental, sexual, emotional, spiritual, social) health and wellbeing of individuals involved, (3) ensuring knowledge about trauma is incorporated into policies, procedures, and practices, (4) avoiding re-traumatizing individuals who have experienced sexual violence and (5) promoting empowerment-oriented pathways to recovery.

To forefront an ethic of care and empathic interactions is to treat all persons involved with compassion and respect, including those who disclose or report an experience of sexual violence and those who are alleged to have caused harm or to have violated the sexual violence policy.

To apply an anti-oppressive, intersectional, and culturally relevant lens is to recognize the broader sociocultural context in which forms of sexual and gender-based violence occur and intersect with other forms of oppression (e.g., racism, ableism, and classism in addition to sexism, homophobia, and transphobia for instance) and to be cognizant of and work to counteract sociocultural myths about sexual violence, which create barriers to reporting and recovery.

To ensure procedurally fair processes is to adhere to principles of natural justice (e.g., the right to be heard and to impartiality) and due process (e.g., respect for the legal rights owed to persons) for all persons involved, including the right to confidentiality and timeliness through investigative processes in accordance with privacy legislation and other relevant legal and policy requirements.

To pursue evidence-based and community-engaged strategic actions is to recognize the need to be informed by current scholarship and best practices and to build communities of practice to mobilize effective collective efforts to change both individual behaviours and transform the culture.

 

Meeting Materials