Gender-Based & Sexual Violence Action Committee

Background on the Action Committee: 

In response to heightened concerns about student safety and sexual violence on campus, the Action Committee on Gender-Based & Sexual Violence was created in October 2021 to study the issue and make recommendations for changing the culture at Western.

The Committee was identified as one element in a broader action plan implemented to enhance student safety following incidents of sexual violence arising during OWeek 2021. 

Co-chaired by Dr. Terry McQuaid and Prof. Nadine Wathen, the Committee began meeting semi-monthly on November 2, 2021, and will deliver a report of its findings and recommendations in spring of 2022.

See TERMS OF REFERENCE for more details on the Committee's mandate.

See ACGBSV MEMBERSHIP for short bios on each of the Committee's 13 members.  

See MEETING OUTCOMES for the latest update on the Committee's work.

Outcomes from November 19, 2021 meeting:

  • The Committee is forming working groups around four topic areas: 1) Consultation/engagement; 2) Communication/coordination; 3) Policy/accountability; 4) Evaluation/assessment

  • Each working group will bring ideas in these areas to inform actionable recommendations to the larger Action Committee for discussion and integration 

  • We heard about the extraordinary amount of activity being undertaken across campus, both by the Gender and Sexual Violence Education and Response group in Wellness, and by USC, with both sets of activities being supported in multiple ways by experts from Anova and CREVAWC

  • This included discussion of the various GBSV Education Programs currently underway at Western, and the range of Support Options for Survivors of Sexual Violence

  • A key goal of this Committee will be recommending ways for cross-campus activities to be better coordinated and communicated.

  • We have already heard through various consultations that specific environmental measures would make people feel safer on campus, including better lighting in specific areas.

  • The Committee has asked for a review of existing Safe Cities data for campus, and will make recommendations on immediate changes that could support safety. 

Outcomes from November 2, 2021 meeting

  • At its first meeting, the Committee reviewed, enhanced, and finalized its Terms of Reference

  • Members observed that GBSV is a complex issue that intersects with other social issues affecting our campus and the broader community. The Committee notes that work aimed at addressing social norms and practices that enable and glorify sexual violence is inherently political.

  • Members heard about the new student-facing education, launched October 21 by Student Experience, Wellness and Equity Education in partnership with CREVAWC and Anova

  • Members heard about new employee-facing education that is underway in partnership with CREVAWC, to support survivors disclosing violence. 

  • The Committee will develop a project plan structured with working groups, each focused on a key topic with actionable recommendations and implementation considerations, to be outlined in a final report to Western's President in early Spring 2022. 

  • Building on existing and ongoing work, we’ll be looking for a broad range of inputs from stakeholders across campus and the London community to support best practices in prevention, education and response.