Sexual assault rates still high on undergraduate campuses

Ainsley Smith
News Reporter

Four out of five female undergraduate students say they have been victims of violence in a dating relationship and of those women, 29 per cent reported incidences of sexual assault, according to a Canadian Federation of Students study.

While the finding underlines what may seem to be a growing problem, Rob Kilfoyle, director of Public Safety and Emergency Management at Humber, said there haven’t been any significant incidents on campus this year and any minor allegations have not moved forward, or needed to involve the Toronto Police.

In order for sexual assault or sexual attack numbers to continue to stay low on campus, both male and female students need to continue to most importantly stay informed on what counts as sexual assault, Kilfoyle said.

“Sexual assault can classify as any unwanted contact from someone without consent,” Kilfoyle said.

Joe Ginsberg, 19, is a second-year Police Foundations student and has previously worked as a security guard.  He said that in order for students to stay safe while on and off campus, it’s a good idea to always walk with a friend or in a group and if you’re drinking to always monitor your drinks.

“Another helpful tip is always staying in contact with a friend, or roommate, that way someone always knows where you are,” Ginsberg said.

Humber currently provides students with Rape Aggression Defence training workshops for females, extensive security systems, escorted campus walks and now, most recently, a public safety app for smartphones called the Humber Guardian, which is a free tool to quickly communicate with campus security.

Quyen Tran, 20, second-year fashion arts student at Humber, said the college’s services gave her a sense of comfort. “I definitely feel a lot safer on campus, especially when me and my friends leave pub or are walking home at night,” she said.

“Students are also always on their cellphones now, so I think the new safety app is a great idea,” Tran said about the new smartphone app.

“Student safety is always our main priority and we will continue to provide students with what ever measures necessary to ensure they feel safe,” Kilfoyle said.

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