Saskatchewan students react to on-campus sex assault stats
University of Regina's Women's Centre Director says statistics don't always reflect reality
A CBC News exclusive report has looked at the number of sexual assaults on Canadian campuses.
In Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Polytechnic Institute provided the following data to CBC:
- U of S had 10 reported sexual assaults from 2009 to 2013.
- U of R had 6 reported sexual assaults during the same time period.
- Saskatchewan Polytechnic didn't have a reported case of sexual assault during that same time.
Considering the schools' relative populations, University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan had a little more than 1 reported case per 10 thousand students. That places them as 28th and 29th out of 62 schools involved in the study.
Don't believe the numbers, says women's centre director
However, when it comes to sexual assault and statistics, the executive director of the University of Regina's Women's Centre Jill Arnott says the numbers can be untrustworthy.
"We know hands down across the board when violence against women is concerned that any sort of statistics that we have don't accurately represent the reality," Jill Arnott said.
Arnott says the system doesn't provide enough support for victims and that's one of many reasons she believes many sexual assaults go unreported.
"The onus is always on the victim to prove that it happened to prove that the victimization and trauma is real. And so that is not a climate that makes it a very positive experience of somebody who's already dealing with the trauma of what happened," she said.
Students at University of Regina react
The students at U of R seem to agree with Arnott.
"If you turn a blind eye to it it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Some people are too scared to step up. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen though," said Anna Schneider.
"It's quite likely that the number is higher and it's unfortunate that people aren't able to come forward," added another student, Aaron Fritzler.
Male athletes 'Man Up' to condemn violence against women
This year the male athletes at University of Regina's campus took part in the Man Up initiative. It's an effort to condemn violence against women.
Student Maryna Moskalenko says she believes it's a good sign that she hasn't met any women on campus who have told her they have been a victim of violence. She believes it's a safe place to go to school, and that men take the issue seriously, too.
Arnott says it's those kinds of things that need to keep sexual assault on people's minds.
"Really make sure that we're speaking loudly about this and that it's out there that we don't forget and we don't let it drop off the radar."