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April 17, 2018

Today, Mount Saint Vincent University marked Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) by launching a video titled, “Time to act: Five ways to end sexualized violence.” 

The video features Mount students, faculty and senior administrators discussing how we can all work together in big and small ways to create a culture of safety and respect in our community. They focus on the topics of consent, victim-blaming, gender stereotypes, bystander behaviour, and racism and oppression, and how each of these topic relates to sexualized violence. 

“The Mount is committed to taking action to prevent sexualized violence on campus,” said Paula Barry Mercer, Associate Vice-President of Student Experience and Chair of the Sexual Assault Prevention Committee at the Mount. “Our hope is that the simple yet powerful messages in this video will resonate with viewers and encourage all of us to be part of the solution by being mindful of our actions and language.” 
The prevention of sexualized violence is an organizational priority for the Mount. In July 2015, the University’s Board of Governors approved a Policy Against Sexual Assault. A Sexual Assault Prevention Committee has been established to enhance the University’s work on the prevention of and response to sexualized violence. The committee reports directly to the President and includes students, faculty, staff, and a community representative from the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. The committee created two working groups, one focused on a review of policy and the other on awareness, education, and training.The latter group developed the video, in consultation with Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, as part of an overall strategy to enhance sexualized violence prevention education and awareness on campus. 

"Sexualized violence on post-secondary campuses is an important issue that requires a collaborative framework of response,” said Dee Dooley, Regional Capacity Coordinator at Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. “The video created by the Mount provides concrete actions that students, faculty and staff, as well as community members can take to create safer spaces, and will be a useful tool in shifting campus culture to one that challenges structural oppression, addresses the root causes of sexualized violence, and believes and supports survivors."

Since June 2015, a number of information sessions have been offered to Mount students, faculty, and staff focusing on a range of issues related to sexualized violence, including sexual harassment, online harassment, and sexual assault. 

The Mount’s Policy Against Sexual Assault and other resources are available at www.msvu.ca/sexualassault. If you or someone you know needs help, resources for survivors and supporters can be found at www.breakthesilencens.ca and www.avaloncentre.ca.