James McGill Professor and iMPACTS Director Dr Shaheen Shariff has been interviewed and quoted on topics ranging from sexual assault, rape culture, cyberbullying, and the law in both national and international press. Read more below. To request an interview, please definetheline [at] mcgill.ca (send us an email).
Chronicle Herald, April 9, 2021
“Quite often at universities and in academia, you have stars who have succeeded academically and . . . have become globally well known,” said Shariff. “Some attain a sort of reverence, a kind of power. But there is never an excuse for allowing someone to continue to perpetrate sexual violence. Especially against students who are in a vulnerable position.”
CBC News, October 10, 2020
Shariff said she would also like to see children receive more education in school about cyberbullying and the mental health impact. This, she told CBC News, can be woven into the curriculum by using art and music classes to vent frustrations creatively, and by working in mental health and suicide statistics into math courses.
CBC News, September 17, 2018
"It's devastating and we deal with the survivors of this kind of sexual extortion and violence all the time," said McGill education professor Shaheen Shariff who has published widely on cyberbullying and sexting. "It's taking a while for institutions to accept that online sexual violence of this type is as harmful as actual physical violence."
Flare Magazine, April 5, 2018
Shariff says our legal system still needs to come up with better ways to address this problem, including providing support for victims—and appropriate ramifications for perpetrators. “There’s too many cases where I’ve heard about insufficient evidence to move forward,” Shariff says. She adds that while closing a case may simply mark the end of an investigation for the police, it doesn’t address “the huge impact it can have on victims or survivors of any kind of harassment.”
Sloan & Science, December 28, 2017
"We’re at a crossroads where all of these nuances need to be worked out. It’s unprecedented. The law hasn’t been able to keep up. Social media plays two roles: on the one hand, it is powerful in mobilizing a sea change in awareness. On the other hand, in the past–and it continues in some ways–it tacitly condones some of these institutional barriers."
La Presse - Opinion Piece, November 1, 2016
« Cependant, si l'on souhaite réduire et prévenir la violence sexuelle dans une société de plus en plus multiculturelle et mondialisée (en ligne et hors ligne), il est essentiel de mettre au jour et de démonter les formes de discrimination croisées telles que le sexisme, la misogynie, le racisme et l'homophobie qui perpétuent et normalisent la violence sexuelle. »
McGill Reporter, September 28, 2016
"Rape culture is rooted in intersecting forms of discrimination that impact some members of society more negatively. We wanted to know the extent to which arts, popular culture, news and social media might: a) tacitly condone rape culture in universities given that students are their largest consumers; or b) have the power to mobilize change; c) what legal and policy barriers exist and what legal frameworks are most applicable."
Montreal Gazette, March 26, 2015
“We are finding people are saying they aren’t thinking about victims or who they are hurting, they just want to get hits and make people laugh. … But what this is is a slap in the face to women. The more powerful women become, and the more equal in terms of occupations and status and sexual liberation, the more violent the behaviour. It is a backlash.”
CTV News, March 8, 2021
“Young women in the medical field who might have young families, they're exposed to the virus to a much great extent in the hospitals,” says Shariff on International Women's Day. “Many of the front-line workers are from marginalized socio-economic groups."
Telus Documentary on Amanda Todd, October 9, 2020
"In may ways the media really has a role to play as well in how they present these stories. In some ways, they do help to humanize these stories and victims of these kinds of violence because they talk about who they were and who they are, how it's impacting their families."
Montreal Gazette, March 3, 2020
“With the rise of populism and leaders like (U.S. President) Donald Trump using dehumanizing language against minorities, this is par for the course... When people go online and use terms like savages to describe Mohawks, they’re making it easier to justify violence against them.”
McGill Reporter, June 16, 2020
"Based on all my scholarship on bullying, cyberbullying and now sexual violence I’m of the view that the role of the University is to educate society. We must find ways as scholars and teachers to connect scholarship to the broader community."
McGill Newsroom, October 21, 2016
“Our project will engage law, arts and media sector partners (including Facebook), academics and collaborators to propel universities into reclaiming their central role of research and education (as it relates to deeply embedded intersecting forms of misogyny, sexism, homophobia, and related forms of discrimination – often described as “rape culture”)”, says Shariff.
Le Devoir, October 22, 2016
« Les universités sont souvent “en mode réaction”. Ils vont annoncer la mise sur pied d’une politique ou l’embauche de ressources pour limiter les cas de harcèlement et les agressions sur les campus. Mais, au final, on constate que ça ne change pas grand-chose si ce n’est pas accompagné d’une très bonne compréhension de la complexité de ces questions. »
CTV News, October 17, 2016
Speaking on the sexual assaults at Laval University, Shariff states "it can affect students' grades, health, self-esteem, [their] confidence in the system."
CTV News, September 18, 2016
"What's public, what's private? Where are the lines? Where your communication can cross over to become illegal now, there are laws now against some types of online postings."
McGill Reporter, September 28, 2016
“Our project will engage law, arts and media sector partners, academics and collaborators to propel universities into reclaiming their central role of research and education (as it relates to deeply embedded intersecting forms of misogyny, sexism, homophobia, and related forms of discrimination – often described as 'rape culture')."