New partner helps SAIT in stand against sexual assault
Calgary, AB (Sept. 29, 2015) — It's never been OK to commit a sexual assault at SAIT. But now the school is taking a stronger stand against all forms of sexual violence, supported by a new partnership with Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA).
"We're working to affect SAIT's culture in a positive way," says Brad Donaldson, Vice President Academic. "Partnering with CCASA ensures we have the expertise and additional counselling personnel to truly understand the issue and provide support to our campus community."
The partnership with CCASA will provide:
- Education to SAIT employees
- Expertise to SAIT in drafting a sexual assault policy
- Counselling support to augment SAIT's own professional counselling staff
- An off-campus resource for students, if that feels more comfortable
A way for CCASA to reach more people with the important message that violence is not acceptable, and that help is available.
"Sexual assault is a crime that often goes unreported, but the more we talk about this crime and support individuals who have been impacted by it, the easier it will be for people to come forward and tell their story," says Danielle Aubry, CCASA Executive Director. "SAIT's commitment to creating a safe space, free of violence for their students is wonderful to see and we are thankful they have chosen to work with CCASA on their sexual assault policy. Together we can help ensure that anyone impacted by sexual assault receives the support they truly deserve."
Donaldson says a low recorded number of reported sexual assaults on campus can lead people to believe there isn't a problem.
"More importantly, unreported assaults can mean people are not getting the appropriate help. We anticipate with this focus on the issue, more assaults will be reported. This will tell us people feel supported and safe enough to report, and to get the help they need and deserve," says Donaldson.
SAIT and the SAIT Students' Association are also committing to supporting survivors of sexual violence through the province-wide "I Believe You" campaign. The public awareness campaign is designed to provide education on how to respond to a victim of sexual assault. Experts say a person who hears a positive response from a friend or confidant is more likely to come forward and report the incident.
SAIT is one of Canada's most exciting destinations for post-secondary education, offering more than 100 career programs and over 1,400 part-time courses (including online and distance) that position people for success in technology, trades and business. A leader in innovation, SAIT also collaborates with industry on applied research and delivers corporate training worldwide. SAIT has been recognized as being one of Alberta's Top Employers, one of the top five research colleges in Canada and the Best Alberta Workplace for Training and Development.