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Why the U of G Sexual Violence Module is So Important

Recently, the University of Guelph released a Sexual Violence Module on its course platform, CourseLink. It consists of four units and a short quiz following each unit.  These four units involved in the module include: 

Unit 1: Recognize: Understanding Sexual Violence 

Unit 2: Respect: Cultivating Consent Culture 

Unit 3: Believe: Supporting Survivors 

Unit 4: Take Action: How to be an Ally 


Here are 4 reasons why the Sexual Violence Module is so important, and why you should complete it as a U of G student: 


1. To raise awareness of rape culture 

In the first unit, “Recognize: Understanding Sexual Violence”, there are a variety of infographics which depict the many different levels of the sexual violence spectrum including: 


Attitudes and beliefs: e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia 

Normalization of violence: e.g. rape jokes, cat-calling, slut-shaming 

Removal of autonomy: e.g. stalking, sexual coercion 

Physical expressions of violence: e.g. sexual assault  


Each of these levels of the sexual violence spectrum contributes to rape culture, which the module defines as “the way society collectively thinks about and talks about rape and sexual violence”. 


2. Highlights relevant statistics regarding sexual violence among Ontario university students 

Some relevant statistics mentioned in the first unit include:  

-63% of students have disclosed experiencing sexual harassment 

-57% of Indigenous women are sexually abused 

-LGBTQ+ individuals are at greater risk – e.g. 61% of bisexual women experience sexual violence 

These statistics really put into perspective how common sexual violence is on campus, and that some marginalized groups are at an increased risk. 


3. Establishes the importance of consent 

In the second unit, “Respect: Cultivating Consent Culture”, the unit focuses on the importance of consent between intimate partners. They also mention substance use, including alcohol. This is an important factor in defining consent as well, as alcohol is involved in a large number of sexual assault cases. 


4. Explains how to intervene and be an “active bystander” 

As described in the fourth unit, “Take Action: How to be an Ally”, in many situations people act as bystanders, avoiding situations of sexual violence for whatever reason(s). On the other hand, acting as an “active bystander”, and intervening in these harmful behaviours, has the ability to prevent sexual assaults and sexual violence as a whole. 


I am so impressed with the University of Guelph. This module is a step towards reducing sexual violence on campus. If you haven’t already, please take an hour or two out of your day to complete the module. Education is key to reducing sexual violence. 


For resources regarding Sexual Violence on campus available please visit here!

Sydney is a first-year graduate student at the University of Guelph. She has a strong interest in neuroscience, reproductive biology, and veterinary medicine. Her articles consist of a variety of topics, most notably feminism and sexual/domestic violence awareness.
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