John Abbott College: Investigate Campus Sexual Assault
This petition is to bring an incident of sexual assault on the campus of John Abbott College to the attention of the college, the police, and the community.
We wish to respect the privacy and anonymity of the victim/survivor. We are not able to contact her to ask specifically, so this is our best effort. WE WANT:
- Temporary suspension of the perpetrator until a report is filled and handled appropriately;
- For the victim to receive a proper apology for the mishandling of the situation by both the officers, the department and the school;
- For the school to show that they want and plan to take these matters more seriously, and to implement mandatory sexual assault education for all first year students.
We call on JAC to demand a proper investigation and to support the victim/survivor in this. We believe this incident shows an utter lack of education and sensitivity to the issue of sexual violence on college campuses, and failure to help one (among others) student feel safe as she works through this, especially upon return to school. SUPPORT HER IN ANY WAY SHE CHOOSES, IN ORDER FOR HER TO FEEL SAFE.
From the Montreal Gazette: "The case involves a detective, Geneviève Leclerc, who was involved in a highly controversial case that the Supreme Court of Canada agreed in June to hear. Leclerc, and four other officers, were accused of ignoring Maria Altagracia Dorval’s complaint that her ex-husband was going to kill her in the days before the Montreal North woman was murdered in 2010."
From the Montreal Gazette: “ 'While the video does not show the assault, the police seem to base their decision on the images of "friendliness" between her and the student, and that’s very contentious,' said Niemi, citing some jurisprudence from a recent case in Alberta when an appeals court overturned a decision similarly based on actions and body language in a video of an alleged sexual assault at a high school."
The incident was deemed a delusional fabrication based on a surveillance video that shows the victim/survivor and the perpetrator just prior to the assault, which occured in the boys washroom. The video, which JAC and SPVM refuse to show the victim, shows the two students entering the school, being amicable/friendly. Jean-Pierre Brabant, spokesperson for the SPVM, says the case is dropped and there is nothing to investigate, despite the victim's detailed account (she is now on suicide watch).
We urge the college to take example from institutions such as the University of Illinois, and their FYCARE program, which is a mandatory program for all students to be informed on sexual assault, as well as University of the Pacific after student Beckett Brennan was assaulted and her perpetrators were suspended and expelled from campus.
Feel free to CALL and write to the following JAC board members, telling them how you feel and what they should do. Phone calls can't be ignored forever.
John Halpin, Director General: 514-457-6610 x5281
Erich Schmedt, Academic Dean: 514-457-6610 x5283
Donna Yates, Directory of HR and Communications: 514-457-6610 x5257
To the victim: We want to respect your privacy and safety. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or co-founder Ratika at email@example.com if you have any concerns.
[photo from http://www.johnabbott.qc.ca/)