Selective Annotated Bibliography

Selective Annotated Bibliography

This page contains an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary legal and policy materials on the subject of sexual violence on higher education campuses.

This bibliography is intended as a resource to inform and support the work of students, academics, and professionals about the legal and quasi-legal dimensions of sexual violence on higher education campuses.

On this page:
Primary Sources
1. Canadian Case Law
2. Quebec Legislation and Policy
3. Quebec University Policies and Procedures
4. Ontario Legislation and Policy
5. Ontario University Policies and Procedures
Secondary Sources
1. Books
a. Canadian Sources
b. Comparative (OECD Countries) and Interdisciplinary
2. Journal Articles and Book Chapters
a. Canadian Sources
b. Comparative (OECD Countries) and Interdisciplinary
3. Reports
a. Québec
b. Canada

Primary Sources

  1. Canadian Case Law: Courts and Human Rights Tribunals

Commission des droits de la personne (Genova) c. Dhawan, 1995 CanLII 11 (QC TDP), 28 CHRR 311 

In this case, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal considers what damages should be awarded in a case of a superior who sexually harassed a female subordinate at Concordia University, causing her to leave her job.

Creppin v University of Ottawa, 2015 ONSC 4449

Following sexual assault allegations against two players on the University of Ottawa men’s hockey team, the university suspended the entire team. The Ontario Superior Court considered a class action based on the university’s responsibility to ensure due process for the accused.

Dupuis v. British Columbia (Ministry of Forests), 1993 CanLII 16472 (BC HRT), 20 CHRR 8

In a case involving a sexual relationship between thesis candidate and supervisor, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal considers the limits of consent in contexts where a power dynamic exists between the two parties.

Galloway v A.B, 2021 BCSC 2344

The British Columbia Superior Court considers a defamation action brought by a UBC professor whose employment was terminated and whose academic career was derailed following serious allegations of sexual assault.

Habachi c. Québec (Commission des droits de la personne), 1999 CanLII 13338 (QC CA), [1999] JQ no 4269

The Quebec Court of Appeal considers a case involving a professor who sexually harassed two female students. The court considers whether the professor’s behaviour constituted sexual harassment or discrimination.

Kirchmeier obo others v. University of British Columbia (No. 4), 2021 BCHRT 149

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal considers a claim that the University of British Columbia’s response to students’ allegations of sexual assault was harmful to women and constituted discrimination based on sex and therefore a violation of the BC Human Rights Code.

Mahmoodi v. Dutton and University of British Columbia, 1998 BCHRT 19

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal calculates the damages that should be awarded in a case of sexual harassement of a student by a professor.

Morgan v. University of Waterloo, 2013 HRTO 1644

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario considers whether the University of Waterloo’s investigation of a sexual assault claim by an employee against another employee was inadequate and unreasonable, and whether the university consequently failed to meet its duty under the Ontario Human Rights Code to investigate claims of discrimination.

Mpega c. Université de Moncton, 2001 NBCA 78

In this case, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal considers whether the University of Moncton had jurisdiction to handle a complaint of sexual assault, where the seriousness of the incident was such that it was not covered by the University’s policy on sexual harassment.

R. v. Azarsina, 2008 CanLII 2740 (NL PC)

The provincial court of Newfoundland and Labrador imposes the sentence for a sexual assault which took place on Memorial University campus.

University of British Columbia Okanagan v Hale, 2021 BCSC 729

The British Columbia Supreme Court considers whether the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s response to the complainant’s sexual assault and harassment allegations constitute discrimination against her as a woman and a person with a disability.

School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v. Jubran, 2005 BCCA 201

The British Columbia Court of Appeal holds that for a claim of harassment on the basis of homosexual orientation, the complainant did not need to, in fact, be homosexual, nor did his harassers need to believe he was.

Schuiteboer v. Carleton University, 2022 ONSC 1009

The Ontario Supreme Court considered whether a student can bring a civil action on the grounds of insufficient due process in the management of a sexual misconduct complaint.

Student X v Acadia University, 2018 NSSC 70

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court considers whether Acadia University should be estopped from assessing a claim of sexual assault under its “Discrimination and Harassment Policy”, where the claim has already been heard, determined and appealed under the university’s “Non-Academic Judicial Policy”.

Wall v. University of Waterloo, 1995 CanLII 18161 (ON HRT), 27 CHRR 44

In this case, the Ontario Board of Inquiry considers whether the University of Waterloo was jointly liable for sexual harassment of a female employee by a superior and whether the University took reasonable steps to address the harassment.

Williams v. London Police Services Board, 2019 ONSC 227

The Ontario Supreme Court considers a claim for remedies based on allegations that the London Police Services engaged in gender-based discrimination by relying on sexual stereotypes and myths when investigating and dismissing claims of sexual assault.

  1. Quebec Legislation and Policy

Quebec, Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, Stratégie d’intervention pour prévenir et contrer les violences à caractère sexuel en enseignement supérieur / Intervention Strategy for Preventing and Countering Sexual Violence in Higher Education (2017).

This document describes Quebec’s strategy for preventing and countering sexual violence in higher education. The strategy notably focuses on prevention and education, responding to disclosures, supporting victims, and safety and security.

Loi visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel dans les établissements d’enseignement supérieur / Act to prevent and fight sexual violence in higher education institutions, CQLR c P-22.1.

This provincial law requires all higher education institutions to create and adopt a policy addressing sexual violence by September 2019.

Projet de loi numéro 14 / Bill 14, Loi visant à assurer la protection des stagiaires en milieu de travail / An Act to ensure the protection of trainees in the workplace, Assemblée Nationale du Québec, SQ 2022, c 2.

This provincial law passed in February 2022 improves the protection of interns in the workplace. It is relevant in relation to GBSV in the university context because in many instances, it is crucial for students to gain work experience through internships during their university studies. As an extension of academic training, internships are identified as a time during which female students are particularly at risk of experiencing GBSV. Chapter IV of this provincial law addresses psychological harassment targeting interns.

Quebec, Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, Guide d’accompagnement du gouvernement du Québec destiné aux établissements d’enseignement supérieur pour l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de la politique prescrite par la loi visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel dans les établissements d’enseignement supérieur (Updated April 2022).

This document was created by the Government of Quebec to provide guidance to higher education institutions for the development and implementation of the policy which was required by the 2017 law to prevent and combat sexual violence in the academic context.

  1. Quebec University Policies and Procedures

Bishop’s University, Policy for the prevention of sexual violence (university policy) (December 17, 2018)

Concordia University, Policy on Sexual Violence (university Policy) (PRVPA-3, June 18, 2020).

Concordia University, Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Guidelines in accordance with the Policy on Conflict of Interest (BD-4) (university Guidelines) (Last updated March 2020).

École de technologie supérieure, Politique pour prévenir et combattre les violences à caractère sexuel (politique universitaire) (3 Décembre 2018).

École des hautes études commerciales de Montréal (HEC), Politique visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel au sein de HEC Montréal (politique universitaire) (27 novembre 2018).

École nationale d’administration publique, Politique de prévention et de lutte contre les violences à caractère sexuel (politique universitaire) (7 décembre, 2018).

Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Politique contre les violences à caractère sexuel de l’INRS, (politique universitaire) (14 Décembre 2018).

McGill University, Policy Against Sexual Violence, (university policy) (March 28, 2019).

McGill University, Procedures for the Investigation of Reports of Sexual Violence, (university procedure) (March 27, 2019).

Polytechnique Montréal, Politique pour prévenir et contrer les violences à caractère sexuel (politique universitaire) (13 décembre 2018).

Université de Sherbrooke, Politique visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (18 mars 2019).

Université de Sherbrooke, Procédure de dévoilement, de signalement ou de plainte de violence à caractère sexuel, (procédure universitaire) 18 mars 2019.

Université de Montréal, Politique visant à prévenir et combattre les inconduites et les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (12 novembre 2018).

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Politique visant à prévenir et traiter les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) 20 décembre 2018.

Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Politique visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (11 décembre 2018).

Université du Québec à Montréal, Politique no. 16 visant à prévenir et à combattre le sexisme et les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (10 avril 2019).

Université du Québec en Outaouais, Politique pour prévenir et combattre les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (3 décembre 2018).

Université du Québec à Rimouski, Politique visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (18 août 2019).

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Politique visant à prévenir et à combattre les violences à caractère sexuel, (politique universitaire) (1 août 2019).

Université Laval, Politique pour prévenir et combattre les violences à caractère sexuel à l'Université Laval (politique universitaire) (29 novembre 2018).

Université TELUQ, Politique institutionnelle visant à prévenir et combattre les violences à caractère sexuel (politique universitaire) (4 décembre 2018).

  1. Ontario Legislation and Policy

Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), Parliament 41 Session 1, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 2016

This Bill amends several Ontario Acts, adding requirements for policies or practices to respond to and prevent sexual violence. Notably, the Bill amends the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, adding a definition of sexual violence and a requirement for all government-funded colleges and universities to enact sexual violence policies.

Ontario Regulation 131/16: Sexual Violence at Colleges and Universities under Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.19

This regulation requires Ontario universities and colleges to accommodate students affected by sexual violence, and implements specific requirements for the information that university and college sexual violence policies must provide to students.

  1. Ontario University Policies and Procedures

Algoma University, Sexual Violence Policy (university policy) (November 2019).

Brock University, Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy (university policy) (December 1, 2016).

Carleton University, Sexual Violence Policy (university policy) (December 1, 2016).

Lakehead University, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Policy (university policy) (December 21, 2016).

Laurentian University, Policy on Response and Prevention of Sexual Violence (university policy) (February 11, 2022).

McMaster University, Sexual Violence Policy (university policy) (December 14, 2016).

Nipissing University, Sexual Violence Prevention, Support and Response Policy for Students (university policy) (December 13, 2016).

OCAD University, Policy on Prevention and Response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (university policy) (March 1, 2022).

OntarioTech University, Student Sexual Violence Policy and Prodecures (university policy) (December 7, 2016).

Queen’s University, Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen’s University Students (university policy) (December 2, 2016).

Ryerson University, Sexual Violence Policy (university policy) (2015).

Trent University, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (university policy) (June 24, 2022).

University of Guelph, Policy 1.4 - Sexual Violence Policy (university policy) (June 1, 2018).

Université de Hearst, Politique en matière de harcèlement et de violence à caractère sexuel (politique universitaire) (14 décembre 2016).

Université de l’Ontario français, Politique sur la violence sexuelle (politique universitaire) (30 novembre 2018).

University of Ottawa, Policy 67 - Sexual Harassment (university policy) (March 17, 1998).

University of Ottawa, Policy 67b - Prevention of Sexual Violence (university policy) (June 27, 2016).

University of Toronto, Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (university policy) (December 16, 2021).

University of Waterloo, Policy 42 - Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence (university policy) (January 1, 2017).

University of Windsor, Policy on Sexual Misconduct (university policy) (September 1, 2016).

Western University, Policy on Gender-Based and Sexual Violence (university policy) (May 1, 2020).

Wilfrid Laurier University, 12.4 - The Prevention of Sexual Violence Policy and Procedures (university policy) (November 24, 2016).

York University, Policy on Sexual Violence (university policy) (March 1, 2022).

Secondary Sources

  1. Books

    1. Canadian Sources

Busby, Karen & Joanna Birenbaum, Achieving Fairness: A Guide to Campus Sexual Violence Complaints (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2020).

This publication provides readers with a guide to the legal issues that arise when responding to complaints of sexual assault on campuses.

Crocker, Diane, Joanne Cheryl Minaker & Amanda Nelund, Violence interrupted : confronting sexual violence on university campuses (Montreal ; McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020)

This publication contains multi-disciplinary analysis of recent data, programs, photography, interviews, legal cases, and existing policies related to sexual assault on university campuses in Canada. Contributors approach the problem of sexual violence from a multitude of angles and present different ways of thinking about the problem.

Quinlan, Elizabeth et al, Sexual violence at Canadian universities : activism, institutional responses, and strategies for change (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2017).

This book brings together interdisciplinary case studies, research and theoretical writings on the subject of sexual violence on Canadian university campuses. The authors explore the causes and consequences of sexual violence on campuses as well as strategies for its elimination.

  1. Comparative (OECD Countries) & Interdisciplinary Sources

Anitha, Sundari & Ruth Lewis, Gender Based Violence in University Communities : Policy, Prevention and Educational Initiatives (Bristol University Press, 2018).

This publication provides an overview of current research and practices on addressing gender-based violence across Europe, the US, and Australia. The authors consider the implications of this review for the implementation of related policy and practice on university campuses in the UK (UK).

Carrigan Wooten, Sara & Roland W Mitchell, eds, The Crisis of Campus Sexual Violence, Critical Perspectives on Prevention and Response (New York: Routledge, 2015).

This book provides a review of the challenges that institutions face in implementing effective practices for responding to and preventing sexual assault. Expert contributors examine barriers to effective response and prevention, and offer solutions for institutions to improve their practices (US).

Clark, Annie E & Andrea L Pino, We believe you : survivors of campus sexual assault speak out, first edition. ed (New York: Holt Paperbacks, 2016).

The authors compile a collection of more than 30 stories from survivors of campus sexual assault, speaking out about their experiences of trauma, healing and activism (US).

Combes, Adèle B Comment l’université broie les jeunes chercheurs : précarité, harcèlement, loi du silence(Autrement, 2022).

The author discusses the issue of precarity and psychological and sexual harassment of graduate students in French universities and proposes first steps for systemic change (France).

Gavin, Joanne H, James C Quick & David J Gavin, Ending sexual violence in college : a community-focused approach (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021).

This publication takes a preventive public health perspective to the issue of sexual violence on university campuses. The authors describe a community-based model with a focus on prevention and changing campus culture (US).

Gerstmann, Evan, Campus sexual assault : constitutional rights and fundamental fairness (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

In this book, the author critiques the approach taken by universities in responding to allegations of sexual assault, arguing that institutions are failing both to ensure due process for alleged perpetrators and adequate protection for victims (US).

Hirsch, Jennifer S & Shamus Khan, Sexual citizens : a landmark study of sex, power, and assault on campus, first ed (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2020).

In this book, the authors draw on the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) at Colombia University to present a new framework for understanding the problem of sexual assault in the context of its social root causes (US).

Kulbaga, Theresa A, & Leland G Spencer, Campuses of consent : sexual and social justice in higher education (Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 2019).

The authors critique the current language and policies used by higher education institutions around the concept of consent. They argue that the notion of consent in a higher education context is intrinsically linked to issues of structural power and oppression (US).

Maiuro, Roland D Perspectives on college sexual assault : perpetrator, victim, and bystander (New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2015).

This publication brings together a collection of interdisciplinary research articles on the subject of sexual violence on campuses. Articles address subjects including victim and perpetrator treatment, predictive factors, awareness raising, and prevention (US).

Marine, Susan & Ruth Lewis, eds, Collaborating for Change: Transforming Cultures to End Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).

In this book, the authors provide an international overview of efforts to transform campus cultures to eliminate sexual violence, with chapters focusing on Canada, the US, England, Scotland, France and India. The authors provide their analysis of what works to challenge and change campus culture (various).

Oliver, Kelly, Hunting girls : sexual violence from the hunger games to campus rape (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016).

In this book, the author describes how young women and men are often represented in pop culture media in a “predators and prey” dynamic, and links this phenomenon to the growing problem of sexual violence on university campuses (US).

  1. Journal Articles and Book Chapters

    1. Canadian Sources

Barranco, Kyla, “Canadian Sexual Assault Laws: A Model for Affirmative Consent on College Campuses” (2016) 24:3 Mich St Int’l L Rev 801–840.

In this article, the author discusses how Canadian criminal law has developed to support a requirement for affirmative consent in sexual assault cases. The author goes on to suggest that colleges in the United States, which are struggling to formulate their consent standards, should consider adopting the Canadian model of affirmative consent.

Briones, Emil, “Beyond Braces, Fillings, and Extractions: A Social Justice-Oriented Educational Response” (2017) 27 Education & Law Journal 59.

In light of an incident at Dalhousie University whereby male students posted offensive material about female classmates on Facebook, this article argues that there is a need to incorporate social justice and discussion of sexual violence into the curriculum at McGill dentistry school.

DeKeseredy, Walter & Katharine Kelly, “The Incidence and Prevalence of Woman Abuse in Canadian University and College Dating Relationships” (1993) 18:2 The Canadian Journal of Sociology.

This widely cited article contains the results of a Canadian nationally representative sample survey about the incidence of sexual victimization of women in dating relationships at higher education institutions.

Del Gobbo, Daniel, “Lighting a Spark, Playing with Fire: Feminism, Emotions, and the Legal Imagination of Campus Sexual Violence” (2022) 45:1 Dalhousie Law Journal.

The author focuses on the events at Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry in 2014-2015 and explores how emotional reactions to the case supported a formal and carceral response to the problem of sexual violence, while alternatives such as restorative justice were viewed by some as “weak justice” and incompatible with feminist goals. The author points out that the mobilization of emotions may in fact lead to harmful consequences contrary to feminist goals.

Garcia, Chloe & Ayesha Vemuri, “Theorizing ‘Rape Culture’: How Law, Policy, and Education Can Support and End Sexual Violence” (2017) 27 Education & Law Journal 1.

In this article, the authors analyze current debates about the problem of sexual assault on university campuses through an intersectional feminist lens. The authors point to the lack of understanding of the history of the cultural underpinnings of sexual assault in current discussions about responding to sexual violence on campuses. They review the history of the cultural normalization of sexual violence and recommend that institutions account for the entrenchment of such cultural features when formulating responses to sexual violence.

Hutcheson, Shannon & Sarah Lewington, “Navigating the Labyrinth: Policy Barriers to International Students’ Reporting of Sexual Assault in Canada and the United States” (2017) 27 Education & Law Journal 81.

In this article, the authors inquire into the particular vulnerability of international students to sexual assault on university campuses, including barriers resulting from less familiarity with university policy and challenges navigating legal processes.

Lee, Chelsey & Jennifer S Wong, “A safe place to learn? Examining sexual assault policies at Canadian public universities” (2019) 44:3 Studies in Higher Education 432–445.

The authors analyze sexual assault policies at Canadian universities to determine their comprehensiveness and test whether policy comprehensiveness, availability of campus support resources and sexual assault information webpage presence and comprehensiveness, is related to various institutional features.

Lévesque, Sylvie et al, “Intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and reproductive health among university women” (2016) 25:1 Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 9–20.

This study assesses relationships between the victimization of women, termination of pregnancy, sexually-transmitted infections diagnosis, and emergency contraceptive use. The authors find that the reproductive health needs of female university students experiencing victimization are insufficiently met.

Lopes-Baker, Aliza et al, “Canada and United States: Campus Sexual Assault Law & Policy Comparative Analysis Notes” (2017) 41 Can-US LJ 156–166.

The authors note differences between the United States and Canada in legislated reponses to sexual violence on university and college campuses and find that the primary difference is the jurisdiction responsible for the legislated response. In the United States, the response has occurred primarily at the federal level, while in Canada, responsibility for legislation related to higher education is within the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories.

MacKenzie, Taylor Kylie “A Case Study of Sexual Assault on Post-Secondary Campuses” (2019) 3:1 Journal for Social Thought.

The author draws on four case studies to examine how Canadian universities respond to sexual assault and how university policies impact their responses. The authors’ findings suggest that universities respond inadequately to reports of sexual assault due to a lack of, or insufficient policies.

Ostridge, Lindsay & Christopher D O'Connor, “Reporting Unwanted Sexual Behaviour at a Post-Secondary Institution: Student Understandings of Campus Policy” (2020) 12:1 Can J Family & Youth 225.

The authors assess student perceptions of a sexual violence policy at a university in Southwestern Ontario, provide insight into whether students understand the policy and highlight student recommendations for sexual violence policies.

Quinlan, Elizabeth, Alison Clarke & Natasha Miller, “Enhancing Care and Advocacy for Sexual Assault Survivors on Canadian Campuses” (2016) 46:2 Canadian Journal of Higher Education 40–54.

The authors review the existing structure of campus sexual assault services at Canadian univerisities and develop best practices and recommendations on the subject. Among the findings, the authors discovered that many campus sexual assault services rely on volunteers, service centres are chronically underfunded, and professional counselors should be employed to meet victim needs.

Ricci, Sandrine, “Contrer les violences sexuelles à l’université : un maillage de résistance” (2017) 18 Nouveaux Cahiers du socialisme 178–183.

The author conducts a socio-historical review of feminist resistance to gender-based sexual violence in higher education institutions and discusses the role that institutions play in maintaining and reproducing the normalization and trivialization of such violence.

Rubineau, Brian & Nazampal Jaswal, “Response Is Not Prevention: Management Insights for Reducing Campus Sexual Assault” (2017) 27 Education & Law Journal 19.

The authors question whether institutional policies are effective tools for bringing about the organizational culture change necessary to prevent sexual assault and harassment. The authors argue that distinct approaches are needed for response and prevention, and that prevention requires a broader range of efforts than can be encompassed solely in a sexual violence policy.

Shariff, Shaheen “Navigating the Minefield of Sexual Violence Policy in Expanding ‘University Contexts’” (2017) 27 Education & Law Journal 39.

Through an analysis of case law, the author analyzes the parameters of the “university context” and the legal responsibilities of universities to address sexual violence. The author further provides recommendations for an approach to addressing sexual violence that centres student voices on how to improve and implement the university response.

Shariff, Shaheen & Karen Eltis, “Addressing Online Sexual Violence: An Opportunity for Partnerships between Law and Education” (2017) 27 Education &Law Journal 99.

The authors discuss the reluctance of universities to address online sexual violence in university policies. They argue that online sexual violence poses a threat to the safety and wellbeing of students, and propose suggestions for institutional responses.

Sheppard, Colleen. “Equitable Freedom and Dancing Shoes” in Colleen Sheppard, Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law and Everyday Life (Irwin: 2021); 83-100.

The author analyses the case law to show the strengths and limits of anti-discrimination law, particularly in the area of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in educational institutions in this chapter.

  1. Comparative (OECD Countries) and Interdisciplinary Sources

Amar, Angela F et al, “Administrators’ Perceptions of College Campus Protocols, Response, and Student Prevention Efforts for Sexual Assault” (2014) 29:4 Violence and Victims 579–593.

This article explores institutional-level factors related to victims’ decisions to report their experiences of GBSV in the academic context and proposes ways forward for institutions to better tackle this pressing issue (US).

Anderson, Linda A & Susan C Whiston, “Sexual Assault Education Programs: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Their Effectiveness - Linda A. Anderson, Susan C. Whiston, 2005” (2005) 29:4 Psychology of Women Quarterly 374–388.

In this study, the authors analyze the effectiveness of college sexual assault education programs. They find that longer interventions are more effective than brief intervention in altering GBSV attitudes. The content, type and gender of both the audience and presenter are also variables along which programs’ effectiveness varies (US).

Banyard, Victoria L “Improving College Campus–Based Prevention of Violence Against Women: A Strategic Plan for Research Built on Multipronged Practices and Policies” (2014) 15:4 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 339–351.

In this article, the authors argue that GBSV prevention programs at the university as well as their effectiveness evaluation should be designed in a more comprehensive way. They consider, among other things, that complex prevention and research models are needed, using multipronged prevention approaches and researching their synergistic effects (US).

Banyard, Victoria L & Mary M Moynihan, “Variation in bystander behavior related to sexual and intimate partner violence prevention: Correlates in a sample of college students” (2011) 1:4 Psychology of Violence 287–301.

This article focuses on what motivates bystanders to provide assistance to a GBSV victim, so that academic institutions develop effective prevention programs that also talks to bystanders and their role in stopping sexual violence. The authors find that prevention strategies that increase community members' sense of responsibility for ending violence, build confidence in offering help, and support norms that encourage active bystanders are needed to increase helping behavior.

Banyard, Victoria L, Mary M Moynihan & Maria T Crossman, “Reducing Sexual Violence on Campus: The Role of Student Leaders as Empowered Bystanders” (2009) 50:4 Journal of College Student Development 446–457.

This article focuses on the role of bystanders in stopping GBSV in the academic context. The authors maintain that prevention programs targeting bystanders could enhance safety and inclusiveness on campus.

Boyle, Kaitlin M, Ashley Barr & Jody Clay-Warner, “The Effects of Feminist Mobilization and Women’s Status on Universities’ Reporting of Rape” (2017) 16:3 Journal of School Violence 317–330.

This article looks at under-reporting of GBSV on campus and analyses what macro factors can explain variation in reporting in the US. The authors found higher levels of reporting of GBSV in universities with a greater feminist presence and antiviolence activism, in universities located in states where women have higher socioeconomic status, and where there are more American Association of University Women partnerships (US).

Brubaker, Sarah Jane & Christina Mancini, “The Impact of Increased State Regulation of Campus Sexual Assault Practices: Perspectives of Campus Personnel” (2017) 16:3 Journal of School Violence 286–301.

This article investigates the impact of reforms aimed at making the reporting of campus sexual assault allegations mandatory in the interests of transparency and accountability. The authors talk with campus personnel, who are supportive of the reforms but also share some concerns about mandatory reporting (US).

Buarque de Almeida, Heloisa, “Violence sexuelle et de genre à l’université : du secret à la bataille pour la reconnaissance” (2019) 16:16 Brésil(s) : sciences humaines et sociales.

En français. In the Brazilian context, the author analyzes definitions of sexual violence and shows how, within institutions such as universities, some forms of gender-based sexual violence are tolerated and even inherent to the culture of those institutions (Brazil).

Coker, Ann L et al, “Evaluation of the Green Dot Bystander Intervention to Reduce Interpersonal Violence Among College Students Across Three Campuses” (2015) 21:12 Violence Against Women 1507–1527.

This study focuses on the impact of prevention programs targeted at bystanders. It shows that the ‘Green Dot bystander intervention’ program has had a positive impact on undergraduate students, with violence perpetration rates lower among males who have attended this intervention (US).

DeGue, Sarah et al, “A systematic review of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration” (2014) 19:4 Aggression and Violent Behavior 346–362.

This article reviews 140 outcome evaluations for primary prevention programs focused on reducing sexual violence perpetration. The authors describe and assess the quality of evaluation research for sexual violence programs, and discuss which programs have shown the greatest effectiveness based on a rigorous evaluation (US).

Gidycz, Christine A, Lindsay M Orchowski & Alan D Berkowitz, “Preventing Sexual Aggression Among College Men: An Evaluation of a Social Norms and Bystander Intervention Program” (2011) 17:6 Violence Against Women 720–742.

The authors analyze the effectiveness of a GBSV prevention program targeted at men which included pedagogical content on social norms and bystander intervention. The findings show that men who participated in the prevention program reported less reinforcement of sexually aggressive behavior, fewer associations with sexually aggressive peers, and less exposure to sexually explicit media (US).

Graham, Laurie M, et al, “Sexual Assault Policies and Consent Definitions: A Nationally Representative Investigation of U.S. Colleges and Universities” (2017) 16:3 Journal of School Violence 243–258.

This article analyzes GBSV definitions used in US university policies. It shows that small, private, and male-dominated tertiary institutions lacked detailed and comprehensive definitions of GBSV (US).

Hales, Samuel T & Theresa A Gannon, “Understanding Sexual Aggression in UK Male University Students: An Empirical Assessment of Prevalence and Psychological Risk Factors” (2021) Sex Abuse.

This article questions the preponderance of heterosexual male students in the category of GBSV perpetrators in universities. The authors identify several psychological risk factors common to these individuals: atypical sexual fantasies, general aggression, hostility toward women, and rape myths acceptance (UK).

Harper, Shannon et al, “Enhancing Title IX Due Process Standards in Campus Sexual Assault Adjudication: Considering the Roles of Distributive, Procedural, and Restorative Justice” (2017) 16:3 Journal of School Violence 302–316.

This article focuses on reactive actions taken by academic institutions when a case of GBSV is brought to their attention. The authors show that campus adjudication can sometimes lead to the violation of due process rights, especially cross-examination and the preponderance of the evidence standard. They argue that this lack of due process reduces fair outcomes both for victims and the accused and propose to adopt a restorative justice approach to campus adjudication (US).

Hust, Stacey JT et al, “The Effects of Sports Media Exposure on College Students’ Rape Myth Beliefs and Intentions to Intervene in a Sexual Assault” (2013) 16:6 Mass Communication and Society 762–786.

This article presents a 2013 online survey of first-year students at a US university. This study found that females who consumed mainstream sports programming were more likely to accept rape myths, while for both males and females, exposure to sports programming decreased the likelihood that they would intervene in the event that they witnessed a sexual assault (US).

Igareda, Noelia & Bodelon Encarna, “Las violencias sexuales y el acoso sexual en el ámbito universitario español / Les violences sexuelles et le harcèlement sexuel dans certaines universités espagnoles / Sexual violences and harassment in some Spanish universities” (2013) VII:2 Rivista di criminologia, vittimologia e sicurezza 65–79.

En español. The authors describe GBSV in Spanish universities. There is evidence of GBSV in higher education, but the phenomenon remains poorly documented. Igareda and Bodelon deplore a lack of preventive and reactive measures in Spanish academic institutions (Spain).

Iverson, Susan, “A Policy Discourse Analysis of Sexual Assault Policies in Higher Education” in The Crisis of Campus Sexual Violence (Routledge, 2015).

The author analyzes the text of institutional sexual assault policies to assess what embedded assumptions and meanings they construct. The chapter focuses on definitions and normative statements included in policies to explore their impact on the institutional approach and culture regarding sexual violence (US).

Kafonek, Katherine & Tara N Richards, “An Examination of Strategies for the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence at Four-Year Institutions of Higher Education” (2017) 16:3 Journal of School Violence 271–285.

This study assesses GBSV prevention programs based on the content found on US academic institutions’ websites. The authors compare results using the categories of four-year public, four-year private, nonprofit, four year for-profit, historically Black institutions and tribal institutions. The results show that while most institutions report offering GBSV prevention programs, disparities exist across institution types. For example, fewer tribal colleges and universities report offering GBSV prevention programs (US).

Le Collectif d’une Grande Ville du Sud-Ouest de la France Contre les Violences Sexistes dans l’Enseignement Supérieur, “Militer contre des violences sexistes dans une grande école en France : retours sur une lutte féministe” (2014) Les cahiers du CEDREF.

En français. This analysis highlights the difficulty for victims of gender-based sexual violence to speak out and receive support within the academic community. The article shows how the threat of a defamation lawsuit can be used as a political strategy of repression and silencing. It highlights the vulnerabilities of students when dealing with GBSV. Finally, the authors question the attitude of university governance: the adopted measures seem to be more about co-opting feminist struggles than a real commitment to GBSV prevention (France).

Lopes-Baker, Aliza et al, “Canada and United States: Campus Sexual Assault Law & Policy Comparative Analysis Notes” (2017) 41 Can-US LJ 156–166.

The authors note differences between the United States and Canada in legislated reponses to sexual violence on university and college campuses and find that the primary difference is the jurisdiction responsible for the legislated response. In the United States, the response has occurred primarily at the federal level, while in Canada, responsibility for legislation related to higher education is within the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories (US).

McMahon, Sarah et al, “Comprehensive Prevention of Campus Sexual Violence: Expanding Who Is Invited to the Table” (2021) 22:4 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 843–855.

The authors provide a review of the literature on the Whole School Approach (WSA) framework for addressing sexual violence. Their review finds that a WSA can be useful to expand the role of students, faculty, staff, parents/guardians, institutional leadership, and the wider community in addressing campus sexual violence (US).

McNair, Katelyn T, Heidi Collins Fantasia & Allyssa L Harris, “Sexual Misconduct Policies at Institutes of Higher Education: An Integrative Review” (2018) 14:4 J Forensic Nurs 238–247.

This article presents a review of sexual misconduct policies at higher education institutions in the United States and comments on the potential of these policies to prevent sexual violence. The authors find significant variation in sexual misconduct policies and note that most institutions lack transparent policies that comply with federal legislation (US).

Nation, Maury et al, “What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs” (2003) 58:6–7 American Psychologist 449–456.

This widely-cited study reviews different prevention approaches to identify 9 characteristics consistently associated with effective prevention programming. The authors elaborate these characteristics and outline how they can inform the planning and implementation of preventive interventions (US).

Newlands, Rory & William O’Donohue, “A Critical Review of Sexual Violence Prevention on College Campuses” 2:2 Acta Psychopathologica.

This article contains a review of sexual violence prevention programs at US higher education institutions, seeking to determine what factors result in decreased rates of sexual violence among students. The authors recommend that separate gender programs be used, as content focused on consent has emerged as more effective with men while content focused on self-defense and alcohol use appears more effective for women (US).

Potter, S J et al, “Conveying campus sexual misconduct policy information to college and university students: Results from a 7-campus study” (2016) 64:6 Journal of American College Health 438–447.

In this study, the authors assess the efficacy of different methods of communicating information about an institutional sexual misconduct policy to students. Drawing on a sample of 1,195 students at 7 institutions, the authors assessed knowledge in students who were read the policy, students who read and discussed the policy, and students who received no intervention (US).

Roskin-Frazee, Amelia, “Protections for Marginalised Women in University Sexual Violence Policies” (2020) 9:1 Intl J Crime, Justice & Soc Democracy 13.

The author analyses the sexual violence policies of 80 higher education institutions in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. The findings show that sexual violence policies fail women with marginalized identities by not taking an intersectional approach. Policies accordingly do not account for the ways that overlapping identities including race, sexuality, class and disability, determine experiences of sexual violence (various).

Scannell, Meredith J “Campus Sexual Assault” in Fast Fact About Forensic Nursing (Springer Publishing Company, 2021).

This chapter is aimed at nurses and forensic nurses who work with college-age students and seeks to provide information about their role in addressing campus sexual assault. The chapter explains why the culture on college/university campuses creates a high risk of sexual assault, discusses signs and symptoms of sexual assault, and reviews how federal law in the US treats campus sexual assault (US).

Taylor, Bruce G, et al, “Shifting Boundaries: An Experimental Evaluation of a Dating Violence Prevention Program in Middle Schools” (2013) 14:1 Prev Sci 64–76.

This study assesses the efficacy of two different types of sexual violence prevention interventions. Although the study takes place in 30 different public middle schools in the US, its results could be applicable to universities and colleges. The authors compare building-based intervention (involving increased faculty/security presence and a poster campaign to address sexual violence) to classroom intervention (involving a six-session in-class curriculum), and find that both the building-only and combined interventions were effective (US).

Vladutiu, Catherine J, Sandra L Martin & Rebecca J Macy, “College- or University-Based Sexual Assault Prevention Programs: A Review of Program Outcomes, Characteristics, and Recommendations” (2011) 12:2 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 67–86.

In this article, the authors compile and assess literature reviews focused on the effectiveness of higher education sexual violence prevention programs. The authors’ assessment reveals that the effectiveness of sexual violence prevention programs varies widely with audience, facilitator, format, and program content (US).

Wamboldt, Alexander et al, “Friends, strangers, and bystanders: Informal practices of sexual assault intervention” (2019) 14:1 Global Public Health 53–64.

This study draws on ethnographic data to inquire into how bystander intervention trainings intended to prevent sexual assault affected the behaviour of male students. The authors find that while bystander intervention trainings prompt male students to intervene in possible sexual assaults, interventions targeted men who were more socially distant and socially vulnerable while protecting those who were socially connected (US).

Weiss, Karen G, & Nicole V Lasky, “Mandatory Reporting of Sexual Misconduct at College: A Critical Perspective” (2017) 16:3 Journal of School Violence 259–270.

The authors explore whether policies at US universities that mandate reporting of known or suspected sexual misconduct to Title IX administrators may have unintended negative consequences. The authors take a critical perspective to mandatory reporting policies and propose alternative strategies for addressing sexual misconduct (US).

  1. Reports

    1. Québec

Bergeron, Manon et al, “Violences sexuelles en milieu universitaire au Québec : Rapport de recherche de l’enquête ESSIMU” (2016), online (pdf): <>.

This paper, which summarizes the results of the ESSIMU survey conducted in Quebec universities, is the basis for Quebec's provincial strategy on GBSV in the university context.

Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire, “Le harcèlement et les violences à caractère sexuel en milieu universitaire” (2016), online (pdf): <>.

  1. Canada

This report provides an overview of GBSV in the university environment, prior to the adoption of the dedicated 2017 Quebec provincial law. After defining GBSV, the report presents good practices for prevention and intervention.

Burczycka, Marta, Students’ experiences of unwanted sexualized behaviours and sexual assault at postsecondary schools in the Canadian provinces, 2019, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 85-002-X (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, September 14 2020).

This report provides some nation-wide statistics on perpetration and victimization around GBSV in the tertiary education context.

Groupe de travail sur le respect et l’égalité, “Mettre fin à la violence sexuelle à l’Université d’Ottawa” (2015), online (pdf): <>.

This report is a detailed analysis of GBSV in the academic context at the University of Ottawa. It discusses the policies and actions that need to be put in place at the institutional level to end sexual violence at the University of Ottawa.

Khan, F., C. J. Rowe & R. Bidgood, “Courage to Act: Developing a National draft Framework to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence at Post Secondary Institutions in Canada” (2019) (Toronto: Possibility Seeds).

Possibility Seeds Consulting worked in collaboration with the Women and Gender Equality Framework Advisory Committee to analyze the situation of GBSV in the academic context. This report proposes prevention plans, actions and highlights key policy areas to deal efficiently with GBSV.

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