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Quebec study finds one in three people experience sexual violence in CEGEP

The study surveyed 6,000 respondents at different CEGEPs in Quebec.
The study surveyed 6,000 respondents at different CEGEPs in Quebec. Getty Images

More than one in three people reported having suffered sexual violence in Quebec’s CEGEPs, according to the results of a survey released Thursday. Most of the assaults go unreported, according to the same study.

Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people studying or working in one of five participating CEGEPs.

One in three respondents said they suffered sexual violence within the CEGEP community. Just over half of them said they didn’t disclose the assault to anyone, while the vast majority never reported the incident to the school.

Sexual violence in Quebec’s junior colleges is “…far from being a rare and isolated phenomenon,” said Manon Bergeron, professor in the department of sexology at UQAM and lead researcher of the study.

READ MORE: Quebec movement demands action against sexual violence, support for survivors

Nearly one-third of students reported suffering some form of sexual violence in the past year, compared to half as many teachers. One in two professors reported having suffered some form of sexual violence in their career.

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Sexual jokes, hissing and whistling were the most commonly reported forms of harassment.

Women and those from sexual and gender minority groups were more likely to be victims of harassment, according to the research. The study also found students with disabilities, those who participate in cultural activities, and those who live in residences on campus were also more likely to be victims of harassment.

Researchers hope their work will help CEGEPs implement best practices within their institution and educate the college population on what constitutes sexual violence, while at the same time help victims find available services.

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With files from the Canadian Press