Carleton acknowledges rape culture in draft of sexual violence prevention policy

October 12, 2016

Carleton University has released a draft of its sexual violence prevention policy that features a definition of rape culture in its preamble, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The draft policy defines rape culture as “a culture in which dominant ideas, social practices, media images and societal institutions implicitly condone sexual assault by normalizing or trivializing sexual violence and by blaming survivors for their own abuse.” Some members of the university community have criticized the new draft, however, arguing that it fails to acknowledge that rape culture exists on the university’s campus. Carleton Vice-President of Students and Enrolment Suzanne Blanchard says that stating rape culture is present on Carleton’s campus has been a polarizing concept, and that the current draft represents a balanced approach. “We don’t want to say that there is a rape culture on campus. But we found it important that the term be recognized,” Blanchard said. Ottawa Citizen | Ottawa Sun | Carleton (Draft Policy)