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There may be a number of language or terms that may be unfamiliar when it comes to the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy or your process, the following is a quick reference list of these terms and their definitions.


Administrative Authority

Administrative Authority means the senior individual identified at the outset of a process to have administrative responsibility for the Respondent, or decision making authority. Administrative Authority may include but are not limited to: Vice-Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Executive Directors, Directors or, other senior positions in the University.



The process of making a formal decision about a problem or disputed matter.


One of the reasons why people fear coming forward to disclose Sexualized Violence is because they were drinking or taking drugs at the time of the assault. They may fear they will get in trouble. Recognizing this, the University “will not subject any individual who discloses or reports Sexualized Violence to disciplinary action for alcohol or substance use occurring at or near the time of the incident(s)”.

To read more see s.22 of the Policy.


Complainant means a person who makes a Report to Equity and Human Rights (“EQHR”) alleging a violation of this policy. A Survivor will be referred to as a Complainant after a Report has been filed with EQHR.


Consent means the voluntary agreement to engage in sexualized contact or activity and to continue to engage in the contact or activity. Consent means that all persons involved demonstrate, through words or actions, that they freely and mutually agree to participate in a contact or activity.

More specifically:

(a) consent must be given at the outset and at all stages of sexualized contact or activity;

(b) it is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain ongoing Consent;

(c) consent can be withdrawn at any time by any participant;

(d) someone who is Incapacitated cannot Consent;

(e) there is no Consent where one person abuses a position of trust, power, or authority over another person;

(f) past Consent does not imply future Consent;

(g) a person cannot give Consent on behalf of another person; 

(h) silence or the absence of “no” is not Consent; and,

(i) the absence of perceived resistance is not Consent; and (j) there is no Consent when there is coercion, force, threats, or intimidation towards any person, or where there is fraud or withholding of critical information that could affect a person’s decision to Consent.


Maintaining confidentiality is important for creating an environment where survivors feel safe disclosing. For students who receive a disclosure, the best thing to do is connect the survivor with an on- or off-campus professionals who can provide the survivor with clear information about the options and supports available to them.

In some cases, faculty and staff have an obligation under the Sexualized Violence Policy to tell their supervisor or the Sexualized Violence Resource Office in EQHR about the disclosure they received. For instance, if:

  •  A person is at risk of self-harm or of harming others;
  •  There is an imminent risk of harm to the university community and/or the broader community;
  •  The disclosure involves sexual harassment in their place of employment;
  •  A person under the age of 19 is endangered; or,
  •  Disclosure is otherwise required by law.

In all these instances, it is important to consider whether the potential harm is foreseeable and imminent. If so, the minimum amount of information needed to meet legal or other obligations should be disclosed. For example, you may not need to share the name of the Survivor or details that might identify the Survivor. If you think you have a legal duty to tell someone about a Disclosure, the Survivor should be fully informed and supported at every step in the process, recognizing that a loss of confidentiality and anonymity can have a significant long term impact on their well-being.

Deciding whether to break someone’s confidentiality is not an easy choice and not one that should be undertaken without a clear understanding of the rights of the person disclosing. If you are unsure about your responsibility to share information regarding a disclosure under the policy, you should seek advice from the Sexualized Violence Resource Office.

If you are required to break confidentiality under the policy, be sure to inform the Survivor. Give them the option of telling your supervisor or the Sexualized Violence Resource Office themselves, so they get to choose what information is shared.

To read more see s.25 of the Policy.


Director means the Executive Director of the Equity and Human Rights office, or delegate.


Disclosure means telling someone about an instance of sexualized violence. A disclosure does not initiate an investigation unless a report is made.

See s.18 of the Policy for how to do this.


Incapacitated means a person does not have the capacity to give consent because, for instance, the person is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or is asleep or unconscious, or is experiencing a traumatic response. A person does not have the capacity to give consent when the person cannot appreciate the who, what, when, where, why, or how of a physical contact or sexual activity.

Interim Measures

Interim Measures means any temporary restrictions on a person’s ability to enter upon or to carry out activities upon University premises, or their ability to exercise University privileges.


Intersectional means the ways in which a person’s experiences are shaped by the interaction of different social positions (for example, sex, sexual identity, gender identity or expression, Indigeneity, racial or ethnic background, ability, faith, socioeconomic status, migration status, and age). These interactions are rooted in interconnecting systems and structures of power and produce intersecting forms of privilege and oppression shaped by colonialism, racism, homophobia, ableism, patriarchy, transphobia, queer antagonism, trans antagonism, bi antagonism, and/or any other form of discrimination.


The Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy applies to all members of the UVic community. Anyone can access support, at any time, following an incident of sexualized violence. There are no jurisdictional limits to seeking and receiving support.

However, UVic only has jurisdiction to investigate reports of Sexualized Violence if the incident occurred in the following circumstances:

  1. on any property that is controlled by the University and used for University purposes;
  2. when the Respondent is or was in a position of power or influence over the Survivor’s academic or employment status at the University;
  3. while engaged in a University Activity, including, for example: athletic events, online courses or meetings, conferences, co-op terms, field schools, etc.

Even if an incident does not meet the above criteria, the university may still take actions to mitigate the impact of an incident. If you are unsure, please contact the Sexualized Violence Resource Office for information and advice.  

To read more see s.9-10 in the policy.

Person Alleged to Have Caused Harm

Person alleged to have caused harm means a person who is the subject of a Disclosure. If a Report is filed about this person with EQHR, the Person Alleged to Have Caused Harm will be referred to as the Respondent.


To Report sexualized violence means completing a “Report Form” and filing it with EQHR, with the intention of initiating an investigation.



Respondent means a person who has a Report filed against them in EQHR, alleging they have violated this policy.


Retaliation means any adverse action or threatened action, taken, or made through any means, including through social or other electronic media, against a person who engages with this policy or against a person associated with anyone who engages with this policy. Retaliation includes but is not limited to threatening, intimidating, or harassing conduct that could discourage a person from seeking support or other services, Disclosing or Reporting Sexualized Violence, participating in an investigation, or otherwise engaging with this policy.

Sexualized Misconduct

Sexualized Misconduct means, for the purposes of this policy, any of the acts and behaviours identified in the definition of Sexualized Violence.

Sexualized Violence

Sexualized violence means, for the purposes of this policy, any non-consensual, unwanted actual, attempted, or threatened act or behaviour, that is carried out through sexual means or by targeting a person’s sex, sexual identity, or gender identity or expression. This act or behaviour may or may not involve physical contact. Sexualized Violence can take place through any form or means of communication (e.g., online, social media, verbal, written, visual). Sexualized Violence is a continuum of behaviour that includes but is not limited to all forms of sexual misconduct as set out in the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act. Examples of Sexualized Violence include:

(a) salacious comments;

(b) sexual assault;

(c) sexual exploitation;

(d) sexual harassment;

(e) stalking;

(f) stealthing;

(g) indecent exposure;

(h) voyeurism; and,

(i) the distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or video of a person to one or more persons other than the person in the photograph or video without the Consent of the person in the photograph or video

Sexualized Violence Resource Office (“SVRO”)

Sexualized Violence Resource Office means the central intake office in Equity and Human Rights (“EQHR”) at the University for receiving Disclosures and for providing information, support and referrals.


Stealthing means the act of intentionally removing or damaging a condom or other protective device (such as a dental dam, or sponge) during sex without the Consent of the partner.


Student includes any of the following:

(a) a person who is registered, enrolled, or participating in any course or program (credit or non-credit) offered by the University;

(b) an undergraduate who has been enrolled at the University for one or more of the last three terms and is eligible to continue in a program of study;

(c) a graduate student who is enrolled at the University in the current term and is eligible to continue in a program of study;

(d) a graduate student who is on an approved or personal leave and is eligible to enroll at the University when the leave ends; or,

(e) a visiting or exchange or audit student who has been formally admitted to the University for the purposes of taking courses or to take part in an approved research term.


Survivors means those who have experienced Sexualized Violence. The University recognizes that some people may not identify with this terminology and have the right to determine how they will be referred to.

Those Impacted by Sexualized Violence

Those Impacted by Sexualized Violence means Survivors and those who have experienced Sexualized Violence, their family and friends, witnesses, and those who have received Disclosures.


Survivor-centred means prioritizing the safety and choices of Survivors. Survivor-centred means to treat Survivors with dignity and respect rather than blame, hostility, or suspicion and to respect their rights, interests and agency by allowing them to make decisions about whether to file a Report and the extent of their participation.

Third Party

Third party means, for the purposes of making a Third Party Statement under this policy, a person other than the person who experienced Sexualized Violence, and other than the Person Alleged to Have Caused Harm. A Third Party can be a witness, a friend, a colleague, a person who receives a Disclosure, or any other person.

Third Party Statements

Third Party Statement means when someone (e.g. friend, staff, faculty, colleague) shares information with the Sexualized Violence Resource Office about Sexualized Violence on behalf of, and with the consent of, the person who experienced Sexualized Violence (see section 20).

To read more, see s.20 of the Policy.


Trauma-informed means incorporating an understanding of the impact that Sexualized Violence has on a person’s life, to minimize re-victimization, and facilitate recovery and empowerment.

University Activity

University Activity means any activity that is directly connected to the operations of the University at any location, or any activity where a University Community member is formally representing the University.

University Community

University Community means:

(a) credit and non-credit students, including distance students and continuing studies students;

(b) faculty, librarians and staff members;

(c) anyone holding a University appointment;

(d) post-doctoral fellows;

(e) all persons employed under contracts with University faculty members as the employer and who provide research or administrative services directly supporting faculty members’ research activities;

(f) visiting researchers;

(g) anyone contractually required to abide by University policies;

(h) anyone volunteering with a University program or activity;

(i) members of the Board of Governors and Senate; and,

(j) anyone who ordinarily resides on campus because of their relationship with the University.

Voluntary Resolution Process

Voluntary Resolution Process means a voluntary process facilitated by EQHR and agreed to by the Complainant, the Respondent, and the University. The purpose of a Voluntary Resolution Process is to respond to a Disclosure or Report and does not result in a determination of whether the policy has been breached.