Sexual Assault and Violence
Sexual and gender-based violence 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 community to know how to respond compassionately 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 efforts to promote reconciliation.
Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator
The Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator is the first point of contact 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)
- educate the campus community on consent, gender-based violence, and sexual violence prevention.
You can contact the Sexual Violence Program Coordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping by the office in Heritage Hall, room AA125 during business hours.
Drop-In Office Hours
|9:30 am - 12:30 pm||1 - 4 pm||9:30 am - 12:30 pm||1 - 4 pm||9:30 am - 12:30 pm||Closed|
Sexual and gender-based violence information sharing
The Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Information Sharing form can be used by SAIT Schools and departments to share non-identifying information with Safety and Community Services on disclosures and reports of sexual and gender-based violence that are received by their employees or acts that they witness in the community.
The form can be used to request direct follow-up from the Sexual Violence Program Coordinator and Educator and Safety and Community Services will also use this information to help guide prevention and education efforts on campus.
Sexual and gender-based violence policy and procedures
Following consultation with SAIT students, staff and instructors during the 2022-2023 academic year, SAIT’s sexual and gender-based violence policy and procedure has been re-titled, revised and re-formatted. The new HS 1.6 policy suite, approved by SAIT’s Board of Governors on Sept. 13, 2023, is designed to be more trauma-informed, survivor-driven and reader-friendly and is aligned with the Ministry of Advanced Education’s requirements for gender-based violence policies at publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta.
- HS 1.6. Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Policy
Upcoming events, training and workshops
Making a disclosure
Making a disclosure is the act of informing a member of the SAIT community about an incident of sexual and/or gender-based violence for the purpose of seeking support.
No investigation is 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 and/or gender-based 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
- Employee Services / Human Resources
Individuals who disclose to a staff member at SAIT can expect to be treated with dignity and respect and 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 and/or gender-based violence to initiate an investigation.
Reporting an incident of sexual and/or gender-based 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, as identified in the Policy and Procedure.
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 and/or gender-based violence, and possible witnesses
At SAIT, individuals can make reports to:
- Safety and Community Services (email@example.com)
- Office of Community Conduct for reports about SAIT students (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Employee Services- Human Resources Business Partner 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 Calgary Police by phone (403.266.1234) or by going to a police station, and they will arrange for you to speak with an officer.
Educational and support resources
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, imposed by one personal act onto another without consent. Sexual assault is a criminal offence in Canada and is also identified as a workplace hazard.
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).
Sexual violence is characterized by a range of behaviours that involve the use of force, threats, or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened. Sexual violence is carried out in circumstances in which that person has not consented to or is incapable of providing their consent.
Stalking is the act of repeatedly following, watching, harassing or threatening someone (either in-person and/or through digital channels).
Violence directed at someone because of their biological sex or gender identity is classified as Gender-based Violence (GBV.) It can occur publicly or privately. It includes verbal, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, threats, coercion and deprivation of, for example, economic or educational resources.
Consent is a voluntary, ongoing, active and conscious agreement or engage in sexual activity.
Consent or a 'yes' obtained through pressure, coercion, force, threats or inducing intoxication impairment or incapacity is not consent. Silence or ambiguity does not mean consent. Silence or ambiguity does not mean consent and the absence of perceived resistance is not 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.
- a person who has been unknowingly drugged by another individual or group of people for the purpose of lowering their inhibitions is unable to consent.
- the person lacks the capacity to consent due to mental or physical disability preventing that person from fully understanding or communicating consent.
- the fact that consent was given in the past to a sexual or dating relationship does not mean that consent is deemed to exist for any future sexual activity.
- consent is the responsibility of the initiator of each sexual activity to obtain ongoing consent. The person who initiates sexual activity is responsible for ensuring a clear and affirmative response is communicated at that stage of sexual engagement and for confirming the individual with whom that person is engaging sexually is of the legal age of consent.
- a respondent’s mistaken belief formed due to intoxication or impairment from drugs or alcohol that there was consent is not a defense to allegations of sexual assault or sexual violence. A person’s sexual reputation or history of sexual activity cannot be submitted or relied upon as evidence to prove that it was likely that consent had been given.
Seek academic/workplace support and counselling
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 accommodations or modifications to allow the survivor to succeed 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)
The third option
This option is also an option available for survivors that allows you to seek medical attention, collect forensic evidence and have it stored for up to a year 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.
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
- please respect their privacy, and don't share their personal information with others
- reassure them that they're not alone, and that 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 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 develop a SAIT policy on sexual violence.
I believe you campaign
SAIT and the SAIT Students' Association (Saitsa) are committed to preventing 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.
SAIT is also a partner in the Alberta-wide #momentsmattercampaign aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. A consistently positive workplace creates an environment where sexual harassment is unacceptable. Share how a positive moment at SAIT made a difference for you on our #momentsmattercampaign page.