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Ontario Funding New Research on Sexual Violence and Harassment

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario Funding New Research on Sexual Violence and Harassment

Ministry of the Solicitor General

In September 2015, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services issued a Call for Applications under the Premier's Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan to obtain research on police responses to sexual violence and harassment. 

This research is part of the government's commitment to raise awareness, prevent and better respond to sexual violence and harassment in Ontario.

The themes for the proposed research projects included:

  • reporting, responses and support services
  • preventative efforts
  • investigative practices
  • relationship between post-secondary educational institutions and the police

Based on the applications received, the ministry is awarding a total of nearly $375,000 to support the following projects:

Researcher(s)AmountTopicPartners and participants
Dr. Dale Spencer (lead), Carleton University; with Dr. Dale Ballucci, University of Western Ontario and Dr. Rose Ricciardelli, Memorial University of Newfoundland.$42,000Policing Sex Crimes in the New Digital World:
  • how police respond to various forms of sexual violence  perpetrated online and in the community
  • police training to respond to sexual violence and harassment committed online and in the community
  • broader police networks and innovative investigative practices
Five municipal police services in cities across Ontario
Dr. Dawn Moore (lead), Carleton University; with Doris Buss, Diana Majury and Dr. George Rigakos, Carleton University and Dr. Rashmee Singh, University of Waterloo. $236,220Sexual Violence on Ontario University Campuses:
  • the reporting and investigation of incidents of sexual violence against students by other members of the university community
  • relationships between post-secondary institutions and the police
  • how different sectors should coordinate to support victims and investigations
  • do postsecondary institutions take a victim-centred approach and if so how?
  • challenging rape culture on campus
Carleton University, University of Waterloo, Lakehead University and municipal police services.
Dr. Andrea Quinlan (lead), Trent University; with Dr. Curtis Fogel,  Lakehead University (Orillia campus) and Sandra Smele, York University$6,500Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Responses to Reports of Sexual Assault Involving Victims/Survivors with Developmental Disabilities:
  • how police respond to sexual assault reports from victims/survivors with developmental disabilities
  • how police training and practice have been impacted by the introduction of mandatory reporting in the developmental services sector in 2011
  • recommendations for improving police response to victims/survivors with developmental disabilities 
Ontario Provincial Police
Dr. Tyler Frederick (lead), with Nawal Ammar, Dr. Olga Marques, Dr. Chris O'Connor, and Dr. Hannah Scott, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).$15,048A Mixed Method Study of the Sexual Victimization and Reporting Experiences of Students, Faculty, and Staff at a Diverse Commuter University in Ontario:
  • factors shaping the experience, reporting and response to sexual violence and harassment among students, faculty and staff
  • focus on the victimization and reporting experiences of staff and faculty
Dr. Tyler Frederick (lead), with Nawal Ammar, Dr. Olga Marques, Dr. Chris O'Connor, and Dr. Hannah Scott, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).$25,116A Collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Service to Study how Post-Secondary Institutions and Police Services Collaborate on Issues of Sexual Violence across Ontario with the Aim of Identifying Best Practices:
  • how Ontario colleges and universities respond to sexual violence and harassment, focusing on best practices for prevention
  • best practices surrounding collaboration and protocols for responding to campus related sexual assault and harassment
Durham Regional Police Service
Dr. Ginette Lafreniere, Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU)$49,850Silence and Silos Project: Breaking Down Barriers and Enhancing University and Police Collaboration:
  • how to improve reporting mechanisms available to on-campus victims of gendered violence
  • gaps, barriers and challenges of university/police collaboration, including campus police
  • how to address low reporting rates and improve survivor confidence 
Social Innovation Research Group, the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region, the Diversity and Equity Office at WLU and the Dean of Student's Office at WLU (Brantford).

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