Ottawa students speak out about 'rape culture'
Concerns voiced after two serious allegations of sexual misconduct involving uOttawa students
Concerns are being voiced about a growing "rape culture" on campuses after two serious allegations of sexual misconduct involving University of Ottawa students.
Next, the university suspended its men's hockey program as police investigate a complaint of sexual assault while the team was on a road trip in Thunder Bay.
Women's rights activists told CBC there are likely more incidents that haven't been revealed and they hope the two allegations that have already come to light will get people talking about "rape culture."
Julie Lalonde said students and staff must speak out when they hear sexually aggressive conversations or jokes about rape.
"I want to see more people coming forward to call out this behaviour. When you hear these comments don't normalize them — your silence is normalizing and your silence is implicating you. 'This is OK by me,'" she said.
Student leader speaks out
"I definitely felt it was important for me to take action," she said.
Roy, the president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, said what happened to her is too common on campus.
"It seems like rape culture is very ingrained in the way some of these men are thinking, and it's very normalized — so much so that discussing these matters in a private conversation is OK," she said.
Lalonde said the comments are not acceptable whether they're made in private or in public.
"When members of student council can make threats of rape against a president and they're not even denying those comments — they say they're joking, that it's just normal guy talk — I think that speaks to a systemic problem," Lalonde said.
University 'deeply concerned' about Gee Gees allegations
The University of Ottawa said Monday it was "deeply concerned" that it was only made aware of allegations of "serious misconduct" involving hockey players on February 24.
Thunder Bay police are investigating an alleged sexual assault dating back to the weekend of Feb. 1, when the University of Ottawa hockey team was in town. The investigation was launched after a third-party complaint, meaning someone other than the alleged victim came forward.
Police are only aware of one victim at this time but several players on the team are under investigation.
The University of Ottawa has launched an internal review and said it will "co-operate fully" with any police investigation.