In commemoration of the Day of Action Against Sexual Violence Against Women 2023, we are proud to introduce the Violence Free platform – a comprehensive website tailored to support professionals in post-secondary institutions. This initiative is a response to Law P-22.1, which aims to guide these institutions in their practices and policies concerning awareness, prevention, and intervention in cases of sexual violence.
A recent survey conducted by the Quebec government has revealed that nearly 40% of students in Quebec have experienced sexual harassment at least once during their academic journey*. These statistics are not just concerning; they underscore the imperative need for proactive measures in this domain.
Drawing upon many decades of expertise in the realm of gender-based violence prevention, the YWCA of Montreal has assembled a diverse team to bring this project to life. The Violence Free platform has been thoughtfully designed to simplify the work of professionals. It brings together tools created by the YWCA, carefully selected external resources, and references for immediate or specialized assistance.
For both experienced people and those who are new to the role, the website offers valuable resources for their professional growth, along with ready-to-use activities for engaging with the student community or institution staff. Topics covered span a wide spectrum, including definitions of various forms of violence, the concept of intersectionality, how to respond when someone discloses an incident, the role of bystanders, and the various manifestations of power dynamics.
We invite all professionals in post-secondary institutions or those who have a similar role to visit the new platform and join forces to eliminate sexual violence in educational environments, thereby contributing to the creation of a world free of violence and gender inequalities.
* Source : Gouvernement du Québec, Enquête sur la violence sexuelle en milieu collégial, 2021