Sexual Assault and Violence
Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in Canada and research suggests this is due to the shame, guilt and stigma many survivors feel due to myths and misconceptions in our society. We want our campus community to have resources available for survivors to assist them in their recovery from incidents of sexual violence and/or gender-based violence. We also want our campus community to know how to compassionately respond to someone who discloses sexual violence and/or gender-based violence.
You are not alone and we are here to help.
We acknowledge that SAIT is situated on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Stoney Nakoda First Nation and the Northwest Métis – Region 3. We recognize the disproportionate rates of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and girls and are committed to authentic and ongoing effort to promote reconciliation.
Sexual assault and violence policy
SAIT supports survivors of sexual assault and violence and will hold members who commit the acts of sexual assault and sexual violence accountable in order to protect the health and wellbeing of the SAIT community.
Learn about the rights and responsibilities of all students, faculty and staff.
Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator
The Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator is the first point of contact on campus for individuals in the campus community (students, staff and faculty) impacted by sexual and gender-based violence. They are available to:
- receive disclosures and support members of the campus community (students, staff and faculty) impacted by sexual violence
- help survivors access support for their health and well-being
- help survivors coordinate academic and/or workplace accommodations and arrangements at SAIT
- support survivors with navigating their options to make a report to SAIT and/or police services (if they choose to do so)
- provide education to members of the campus community on consent, gender-based violence, and sexual violence prevention on campus.
Sexual assault is any form of unwanted activity of a sexual nature, including kissing, fondling, touching, oral or anal sex, vaginal intercourse or other forms of penetration, that is imposed by one personal act onto another without consent.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome contact of a sexual nature, such as leering, inappropriate sexual language, and demands for sexual activity (either in-person and/or through digital channels).
Stalking is the act of repeatedly following, watching, harassing or threatening someone (either in-person and/or through digital channels).
Violence specifically directed at someone because of their biological sex or gender identity is classified as GBV. It can occur publicly or privately. It includes verbal, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, as well as threats, coercion and deprivation of, for example, economic or educational resources.
Consent is a voluntary, ongoing, active and conscious agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question.
Consent or a 'yes' that is obtained through pressure, coercion, force, threats or by inducing intoxication impairment or incapacity is not consent. Silence or ambiguity does not mean consent.
There is no consent when:
- it is given by someone else
- the person is unconscious, sleeping, highly intoxicated or high, or lacks the capacity to consent
- it is obtained through the abuse of a position of power, trust or authority
- the person does not indicate "yes", says "no" or implies "no" through words or behaviours
- the person changes their mind and withdraws their consent.
Making a disclosure
Making a disclosure is the act of informing a member of the SAIT community about an incident of sexual assault or sexual violence, for the purpose of seeking support. There is no investigation initiated based on a disclosure — and disclosures are confidential — except in limited cases when sharing information is required by provincial and/or federal legislation.
At SAIT, individuals impacted by sexual violence can disclose to:
- The Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator
- Student Development and Counselling (403.284.7023)
- Employee Family Assistant Program (1.844.671.3327)
- An instructor and/or an advisor
- A supervisor
- A union representative
Individuals who make a disclosure to a staff member at SAIT can expect to be treated with dignity and respect and to be offered appropriate support.
Making a report
Making a report to SAIT is the act of informing a specific office on campus about an incident of sexual violence for the purpose of initiating an investigation. Reporting an incident of sexual violence is always the choice of a person who has been subjected to violence, unless in limited cases where reporting is required under provincial and/or federal legislation.
When a report is made, SAIT will investigate the report to determine if there is a violation of SAIT’s Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy and determine sanctions if a finding of responsibility is determined. Investigations will require SAIT to contact and interview the survivor(s), individual(s) alleged to have committed sexual violence, and possible witnesses.
At SAIT, individuals can make reports to:
- Safety and Community Services
- Office of Community Conduct *for reports about SAIT students
- Employee Services *for reports about SAIT staff and/or faculty
- Discrimination and Harassment confidential hotline (403.210.4406)
Individuals who choose to make a report to SAIT can request interim measures during the investigation process, which may include no-contact conditions, spatial restrictions or other measures placed on the individual alleged to have committed sexual violence, to promote a safer campus environment for all parties.
Outside of SAIT, individuals can also make a report to the police by phone or by going to a police station, and they will arrange for you to speak with an officer:
- Calgary Police: 403.266.1234
You can always reach out to a trusted friend or family member who may be able to help you and accompany you to appointments as a support person.
The Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator can assist survivors with understanding and navigating all their options for support. They can also help the survivor liaise with their school/department and/or workplace to make arrangements for accommodations or modifications to allow the survivor to be successful at SAIT while focusing on their health, well-being and safety.
Students can make an appointment with SAIT's Student Development and Counselling (403.284.7023) to speak with a trained mental health professional. Employees can access mental health support through the Employee Family Assistance Program at 1.844.671.3327.
Individuals can also connect with:
- The Alberta One-Line for Sexual Violence: 1.866.403.8000 (9 am – 9 pm daily, call or text)
- Calgary Communities Against Sexual Assault (CCASA): 403.237.5888 (24 hours)
- Calgary Distress Centre: 403.266.4357 (24 hours)
This option allows you to seek medical attention, collect forensic evidence and have it stored for up to a year so that you are able to make the reporting decision that is best for you.
To use this option, seek medical attention within 96 hours of assault:
- The Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART) at the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre: 403.955.6030
- Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse: 403.237.5888
- or any Alberta Health Services Emergency Department.
What do you do if someone confides in you?
If someone confides in you, your role is to believe them, listen compassionately and encourage them to seek support. If they are not ready to seek help, here are some points to consider when providing support:
- support their right to not disclose or report to others and respect their decision
- respect their privacy and don't share their personal information with others
- reassure them that they're not alone and this is not their fault
- let them set the pace and tone of the discussion; avoid probing for more details
- pay attention to your own self-care and seek support, if needed.
If they are ready to seek help, you can provide them with the contact information for the Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator, Student Development and Counselling and/or the Employee Family Assistance Program (1.844.671.3327), or an off-campus resource such as CCASA.
SAIT partnerships and campaigns
SAIT and CCASA
SAIT has a partnership agreement with Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA) experts in sexual violence counselling and education.
SAIT has qualified and compassionate counsellors right on campus, and this partnership offers SAIT access to additional counselling resources and helps with the development of a SAIT policy on sexual violence.
I believe you campaign
SAIT and the SAIT Students' Association (Saitsa) are committed to the prevention of sexual violence through the support of 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.