University of Calgary launches sexual assault prevention project

FILE: A photo showing the University of Calgary campus in the summer. June 2010. Riley Brandt / University of Calgary/File photo

CALGARY – The University of Calgary has launched a new program aimed at ending sexual assault.

Creators say the new program, called Creating a Culture of Consent, focuses on educating the campus community about consent.

“While education methods focusing on self-defence and risk reduction have been the go-to for institutions wanting to curb sexual assault on campuses in the past, this project aims to stop sexual assaults before they start by focusing on consent education and awareness-raising,” explained a Thursday news release.

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The program was created by the University of Calgary’s Women’s Resource Centre (WRC), in partnership with the Consent Awareness and Sexual Education Club (CASE).

“Sexual assault is severely under-reported — less than one in 10 assaults are reported in Canada according to Statistics Canada,” said WRC coordinator Nanako Furuyama. “This project aims to create a campus culture where victim blaming is no longer tolerated and to make the campus an environment where survivors will feel supported regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation and relationship status.”

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The Creating a Culture of Consent program will offer educational workshops, high-profile speakers and enhancements of peer support services.

The program is funded by the Students’ Union Quality Money initiative.

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