1st Edition

Sexual Violence Policies and Sexual Consent Education at Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

By D. Scharie Tavcer, Vicky Dobkins Copyright 2023
    172 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is the culmination of three years of research into sexual violence policies and sexual consent education at post-secondary institutions across Canada. The prevalence of sexual violence has not changed in more than 30 years, and its reporting to police or school authorities has only waxed and waned over those years. In response, this book asks what can be done differently to reduce the number of victims and potential perpetrators?

    The book provides an environmental scan of over 120 post-secondary institutions (PSIs) across Canada as well as a deeper analysis of 7 PSIs that also include student and staff experiences and opinions. The three-year research project employed various phases to capture over 160 student voices and over 20 sexual violence staff and subject experts. Subject experts and students were also involved in reviewing the draft iterations of the proposed sexual consent education module. This book delivers readers with a broad-brush approach to understanding the landscape of sexual violence prevention and education services at PSIs across Canada. It provides a narrowed focus on 7 PSIs where student and staff survey responses and interviews provide positionality in response to the available literature. The book concludes with a proposed sexual consent education module, including its strengths and limitations, as a point of discussion for PSIs to include into their sexual violence prevention education repertoire.

    This book is intended for post-secondary audiences in Canada, North America, and elsewhere – for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, staff, and administrators – where it is crucial to consider ways to address its prevalence and the ways we can incorporate prevention education into our campus communities.

    Chapter 1: Introduction to the Project

    Chapter 2: Sexual Violence in Canada

    Chapter 3: Understanding Consent Education

    Chapter 4: Policies and Programming at Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada

    Chapter 5: Student Voices from Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada

    Chapter 6: A Sexual Consent Education Module


    D. Scharie Tavcer joined Mount Royal University in 2004 where she is now an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice Degree Program. Dr. Tavcer believes in teaching that has components of experiential learning and/or community service learning. This involves incorporating lived experience into her lectures through guests or off-campus events and providing students with real-world scenarios with real people in real situations. Dr. Tavcer proudly teaches students who wish to enter the criminal justice profession. Many of her students come to university with a narrow view of the world, and others have had some intense lived experiences. But all of them hope to make a difference in the justice system, and she works towards helping them with that goal. Dr. Tavcer’s teaching strives to ignite their interest in questioning, reflecting, and addressing the social justice issues within the criminal justice professions. Dr. Tavcer’s scholarship approach extends into the social justice arenas of our criminal justice system. Her work is also intentionally interdisciplinary and intersectional, and she strives for it to be applied research so that the important questions continue to be asked. Dr. Tavcer’s scholarship (and teaching) focuses on sexual violence, relationship violence, as well as mental illness and its prevalence in corrections, offender reintegration, criminal law and sentencing, and occupational stress injuries in justice workers. And regardless of the focus, each project aims to be applied research – that the outcome of the research informs practice in some manner.

    Vicky Dobkins is completing a Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University. She is currently employed as a paralegal at a law firm and a crisis counsellor on the Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART). Her background includes social work and paramedicine, and she has worked on the front lines in varying capacities for over a decade. Vicky believes in taking a holistic approach when tackling social justice issues and utilising different disciplines as a vehicle for social change. Her personal and professional practice stems from a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, feminist lens; above all else, she considers herself a human rights advocate.

    "Dr. Tavcer's collection, curation, and consideration of sexual violence policies and sexual consent education at post-secondary institutions across Canada is a necessary contribution to the field of gender-based violence prevention in Canada. I recommend this to those working in the space to learn what else is out there, what has worked, and where we can innovate for safer campus communities."

    -Jake Stika (he/him), Executive Director, NextGenMen