Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response

At the University of Alberta, our response to sexual and gender-based violence is guided by our mission statement: “Within a vibrant and supportive learning environment, the University of Alberta discovers, disseminates and applies new knowledge through teaching, learning, research and creative activity, community involvement and partnerships.”

That is to say, we know that the discovery, dissemination, and application of new knowledge — the hallmarks of any great university — are only possible when we can foster a learning and working environment that is vibrant and supportive. To achieve that, all members of the university community, including leaders, response and prevention experts, students, faculty, staff and post-secondary partners must work together to create equitable access to a university environment, free from harassment and sexual violence. 

There are a number of services and units that support those impacted by sexual and gender-based violence.

Learn more 

Coordination of Prevention and Response Efforts

The university takes all reasonable steps to build and maintain a safe learning and working environment. As a community, we are committed to working collaboratively with leaders, students, faculty and staff — and our post-secondary partners — to address sexual violence through prevention and response efforts that are rooted in trauma-informed approaches. 

The Office of the Provost and Vice-president (Academic), Office of Vice-President (University Services and Finance), with critical support from the Office of the Dean of Students and Human Resource Services, Health, Safety and Environment, work with stakeholders across the institution to develop, implement, and update the procedures and resources that make the university’s prevention and response initiatives possible. While the university has made important progress in recent years, there is more we can do, and we want to do better. 

Sexual Violence Response Coordinator 

In January 2022, Deb Eerkes assumed the role of Sexual Violence Response Coordinator (SVR Coordinator) to work with U of A stakeholders to review and strengthen institutional policy and procedures to ensure training programs are accessible and reflect best practices, as well as to help build our network of campus expertise and resources. 

The SVR Coordinator is currently reviewing and revising our Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures to ensure that they align with the best prevention and response practices, as identified through the nation-wide Courage to Act project. A new Student Conduct Policy and related procedures will replace the non-academic portions of the Code of Student Behaviour.

The SVR Coordinator has also formed a Sexual and Gender-based Violence Advisory Council, which includes representatives from across the U of A’s campuses, including students, staff, and faculty. This council will advise the SVR Coordinator on new initiatives, the development of expertise networks, and will also be invited to recommend policy changes to consider. 

Additionally, the SVR Coordinator is preparing to implement an Options Navigation Network that will soon be available to act as ‘systems navigators’ on behalf of disclosers who are seeking information about available options. Members of the network will receive enhanced training to provide community members with accurate, transparent, and timely information about the specific options available to sexual violence survivors and to receive disclosures from all campus community members. 

It’s important to note that the Sexual Violence Response Coordinator is an administrative position that focuses on policy and education efforts; they do not serve as the contact point for individuals looking to report acts of sexual violence. 

The U of A Sexual and Gender-based Violence Policy

The U of A Sexual and Gender-based Violence Policy is survivor-driven and captures the principles by which we pursue our goals in this area. The policy was developed in consultation with student groups, university offices, subject matter experts, and external partners and was reviewed and revised in November 2022, with further updates ready for Spring 2023.

Review the U of A Sexual and Gender-based Violence Policy