Brandon University appoints full-time sexual violence therapist, co-ordinator

​Brandon University has hired a full-time social worker and therapist to co-ordinate a sexual violence prevention program.

Carla Navid will co-ordinate sexual violence response, prevention on campus

Carla Navid, who started Monday, is now co-ordinating the university's sexual violence response, education and prevention programs. (Courtesy Brandon University)

Brandon University has hired a full-time social worker and therapist to co-ordinate a sexual violence prevention program.

Carla Navid, who started Monday, is now co-ordinating the university's sexual violence response, education and prevention programs.

University officials said she will help develop new response plans for sexual assaults as well as lead education and prevention efforts on campus.

The university has come under fire in recent weeks over its sexual assault protocols.

Until April 7, sexual assault victims on campus were required to sign a behavioural contract that required them to remain silent about their assault except in disclosure to counsellors. They faced suspension or expulsion if they spoke out.

That ended after a student group discovered the existence of the contracts and went to the media.

Officials with the university said plans to hire a co-ordinator for their sexual violence response and prevention programs were accelerated after the incident. 

"Due to the gravity of this situation, we did accelerate this process — we felt it was important to get a person in place quickly," officials said in a statement. "After listening to the feedback we were receiving from members of the community and experts in the field, we decided that creating this position would be a vital step in addressing sexual violence at Brandon University."

Before taking the job, Navid was a private therapist in Brandon for eight years who specialized in gender-based and sexual violence.

She also previously directed a crisis centre in California.

Navid will sit on the university's sexual assault advisory group and help develop training materials for staff and students. She'll also be tasked with following up with survivors.

The university has also come under fire for plagiarizing a sexual assault task force report.

The task force report contained many identical phrases to a similar report from Queen's University released last April.

The university said at the time the Queen's University report was "an example to be followed and highly suitable for Brandon University," though their report did not cite or acknowledge Queen's University's report in any place.

Meanwhile, the university had a policy in place to suspend or expel students who plagiarize.

with files from CBC's Teghan Beaudette