Institutions respond to CBC sexual assault report

February 11, 2015

A number of institutions have responded to CBC's coverage of sexual assault reporting on Canadian PSE campuses. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) issued a statement that emphasized some of the shortcomings in CBC's methodology. AUCC said that "the overall tone suggested that universities with high levels of reported assaults were in the wrong. But as CBC's own details on its methodology point out, the results cannot be interpreted as a 'scorecard,' and institutions differ in how they gather and report data." AUCC also suggested that CBC had overstated the incidence of sexual assaults, and said that "news reports that take aim at universities that have higher numbers of reported assaults are misleading and dangerous." Ryerson University and Acadia University also issued statements that were published on CBC's website. Ryerson noted that the figures it provided to CBC included "non-community members reporting incidents that happened within our precinct, which extends over a large area of Toronto," and questioned the comparability of the data provided by different institutions. Acadia, meanwhile, acknowledged that under-reporting is a serious issue and said that it includes a wide range of activities under its definition of what constitutes sexual assault; this may lead to the appearance of a higher incident rate. The presidents of Ontario's public colleges recently approved a policy framework on sexual assault, and the presidents of Ontario's universities are also pursuing a series of initiatives to curb sexual violence on campus. AUCC News Release | CBC