Ontario requiring colleges and universities to update sexual assault policies

sexual assault

Ontario is asking its colleges and universities to update their sexual violence and harassment policies to better support students who bring complaints forward.

The government says the policies must ensure students who report sexual violence will not be disciplined for breaking a school’s rules related to drug and alcohol use at the time an alleged incident occurred.

The policies also need to ensure students will not be asked “irrelevant questions” by school staff or investigators, such as inquiries related to their past sexual history or sexual expression.

The province says colleges and universities will need to review their sexual violence policies and amend them by March 31, 2022.

The announcement comes a day before students at Western University plan to walk out of classes to protest what they call a “culture of misogyny” on campus.

The event is being planned as police investigate allegations of sexual assault during the London, Ont., school’s orientation week.