The University of Manitoba has created guides for our community members on intimate or sexual relationships. There are two guides:

Where there is a conflict between the information on this website and the university's policies or procedures, the policies and procedures will apply.

Did you know?

Consent

Consent is a voluntary agreement between two people before participating in any physical contact or sexual activity.

  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time by any person.
  • Consent is NOT obtained when a person:
    • Is forced or coerced;
    • Is threatened;
    • Is manipulated by someone in a position of authority;
    • Is intoxicated or drunk;
    • Is sleeping;
    • Is unconscious;
    • Is silent;
    • Is not fighting back; and/or
    • Says “no.” 
  • Without consent, it is sexual violence.

Definitions

Sexual violence 

Sexual violence refers to any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression — whether the act is physical or psychological in nature — that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without their consent. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Sexual assault;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Stalking;
  • Indecent exposure;
  • Voyeurism;
  • Stealthing (non-consensual removal of a condom or other form of protection);
  • Degrading sexual imagery;
  • Sexual exploitation;
  • Distribution of sexual images or video of a person without their consent; and
  • Cyber harassment or cyber stalking of a sexual nature.
Sexual assault 

Sexual assault refers to the intentional sexual touching of another person with any object or body part without consent or by force.

Examples of sexual assault include:

  • Touching in a sexual way without permission;
  • Forced kissing or fondling; and
  • Forced oral, anal or vaginal intercourse (often referred to as “rape”). 

Click here to view the University of Manitoba’s full Sexual Assault Policy (PDF)

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment refers to a course of objectionable and unwelcome conduct or comments undertaken or made on the basis of sex. It includes offensive or humiliating behaviour of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Some examples of sexual harassment are: 

  • Unwanted sexual attention of a persistent or abusive nature; 
  • Implied or expressed promise of reward for complying with a sexually oriented request; 
  • Retaliation or threat of retaliation for refusal to comply with a sexual demand; and 
  • Sexually oriented behaviour when it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. 

What are some common reactions to sexual violence?

Individuals who have experienced sexual violence will react and respond differently to the trauma they have experienced. There is no right, wrong or only way for a person to feel or express themselves. Here are some common reactions to trauma that a person may exhibit:

  • Shock; 
  • Denial; 
  • Lack of emotion; 
  • Self-blame; 
  • Flashbacks; 
  • Fear; 
  • Anger; 
  • Anxiety; 
  • Mood swings; 
  • Self-harm; 
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits; 
  • Uncertainty; 
  • Inability to concentrate; 
  • Lack of motivation; 
  • Sadness or crying; 
  • Suicidal thoughts; and 
  • Changes in relationships with others. 

Never assume that someone will act in a certain way. A person’s expressions or behaviours may not accurately reflect the extent of the trauma they may be experiencing.

What are some common sexual violence myths?

Sexual violence myths are prevalent and impact the way people think about and understand sexual violence. Learn the truth about these myths in Module 4 of the Sexual Violence Awareness Online Course, accessible through UM Learn. For more information on sexual violence myths, see the links below: 

FAQs/quick facts

What should I know about relationships with power imbalances? 

The university strongly discourages intimate or sexual relationships between an employee and a student they teach, supervise, advise, evaluate or are otherwise in a position of authority over. These relationships should be avoided. The university also strongly discourages intimate or sexual relationships between university employees where one employee is in a position of power over the other. These relationships should be avoided.

Both types of relationships have the potential to create unacceptable risks and abuses of power, resulting in a conflict of interest.

The employee in the position of power is responsible for disclosing the conflict of interest. The relationship must be disclosed immediately and in writing to the head of their unit. The conflict will be addressed as appropriate and in accordance with the university’s Conflict of Interest Procedure. The University of Manitoba has created guides for our community members on intimate or sexual relationships. There are two guides:

Education and training

Sexual violence awareness online modules

The University of Manitoba has created a series of five online modules containing foundational information about sexual violence, including: 

  • A community values statement; 
  • A brief overview of our sexual violence policies and procedures; 
  • A discussion of consent, power dynamics and conflicts of interest; 
  • “Busting” common myths about sexual violence; and 
  • An introduction to our Sexual Violence Support and Education website. 

These modules can be accessed by all University of Manitoba faculty, students and staff through your UM Learn account.

Workshops

Bringing in the Bystander

Bringing in the Bystander: A Prevention Workshop for Establishing a Community of Responsibility® was developed at the University of New Hampshire and first used in Canada by the University of Windsor. It is an effective, evidence-based, in-person interactive curriculum that encourages student participants to see themselves as bystanders that might safely intervene to stop a sexual assault before it occurs.

Responding to a disclosure of sexual violence workshops

The University of Manitoba is committed to being a safe place for people to disclose experiences of sexual violence and to receive effective support and referrals. This three-hour session will guide University of Manitoba staff and faculty on ways to provide compassionate, supportive and consistent responses to those disclosing an incident of sexual violence. This workshop will walk you through the key elements and guidelines of responding to a disclosure of sexual violence and introduce the current U of M Sexual Assault Policy. There will be an interactive portion to the workshop to allow observation, feedback and practice based on example scenarios.

The focus of this workshop is on responding to disclosures and does not focus on the process of filing a formal complaint or report.

To register, visit the Learning & Organizational Development Registration System.

For interested student groups, please contact the Health and Wellness Educator Britt Harvey at Britt.Harvey@umanitoba.ca.
 

Prevention

2018 sexual violence survey

During the spring of 2018, an invitation to participate in the Sexual Violence Survey was distributed via email to all students of the University of Manitoba. The intention of the survey was to identify areas of greatest risk, determine gaps in services and collect information helpful to the development of a comprehensive sexual violence prevention, education and response strategy.

Findings can be found in the Sexual Violence Survey Summary (PDF).

RWLE and SA Policy reviews

From May 2018 to November 2018, the University of Manitoba undertook the process of consulting our community on potential changes to our Respectful Work and Learning Environment (RWLE) Policy (PDF), Sexual Assault (SA) Policy (PDF), and the combined procedures (PDF). The policy consultations and revision process are part of a larger initiative by the University of Manitoba to foster a safer campus and create a culture of consent.

Key themes from the consultation sessions and online feedback form can be found on the Sexual Assault Policy Review web page.

As of January 2019, the policy review is still ongoing, and more updates will be provided over the months to come. 

For more information on the policy review or to provide additional feedback, please contact one of the RWLE & SA Policy Advisory Committee co-chairs, Susan Gottheil at Susan.Gottheil@umanitoba.ca or Naomi Andrew at Naomi.Andrew@umanitoba.ca

New relationship guides

The University of Manitoba has created guides for our community members on intimate or sexual relationships. There are two guides:

The university strongly discourages intimate or sexual relationships between an employee and a student that they teach, supervise, advise, evaluate or are otherwise in a position of authority over. These relationships should be avoided. The university also strongly discourages intimate or sexual relationships between university employees where one employee is in a position of power over the other. These relationships should be avoided.

Both types of relationships have the potential to create unacceptable risks and abuses of power, resulting in a conflict of interest.

The employee in the position of power is responsible for disclosing the conflict of interest. The relationship must be disclosed immediately and in writing to the head of their unit.

The conflict will be addressed as appropriate and in accordance with the university’s Conflict of Interest Procedure.

Safety measures

At the University of Manitoba, Security Services offers the Safe Walk/Ride program free of charge for all members of the university community and visitors to campus. 

Safe walk

The Safe Walk program is available 24/7 on both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campuses. When an individual makes a request for a Safe Walk, Security Services will accompany the individual from one university location to another, or to their vehicle or a bus stop on university property. 

Requests for Safe Walks can be made by calling 204-474-9312

Safe ride

The Safe Ride program is a new initiative available to community members on the Bannatyne campus. Safe Ride provides an alternative to walking alone after dark. Safe Ride operates Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 12:00 am. Should an individual request a Safe Ride, Security Services will pick them up on campus and drop them off anywhere within the Safe Ride boundaries. When the Safe Ride program is not available, Safe Walk services can still be requested for within Bannatyne Campus boundaries.

Requests for Safe Rides can be made by calling 204-474-9312.

Safe Ride Service Boundaries:

  • North to Logan Ave 
  • South to Sargent Ave 
  • West to McPhillips Street and Banning Street 
  • East to Isabel Ave 

When calling to request a safe ride, you will be asked for the following information by Security Services:

  • Your first and last name 
  • Your pickup location 
  • Your destination (vehicle location) 
  • The number in your party (maximum of 3 people per ride) 
  • The phone number you can be reached at 

For more information on both the Safe Walk and Safe Ride programs, visit the Security Services website

Code blue poles

Emergency outdoor call stations are strategically located in remote areas at the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses (look for the nine-foot poles). When activated, a blue flashing light alerts everyone nearby and you immediately have two-way communication with the Fort Garry campus dispatcher.

Get involved

Bringing in the Bystander

Bringing in the Bystander™ is an effective in-person, interactive prevention workshop that is based on the concept that all community members have a role to play in preventing sexual violence. Student participants learn the importance of speaking out against social norms that support sexual violence, to become aware of and identify potential risks in various situations, to develop empathy and support for survivors and explore how to safety interrupt or intervene in situations that can lead to sexual violence.

Healthy U 

Healthy U is made up of two teams of friendly volunteers who are certified student health educators. They are passionate and knowledgeable about relevant health topics and are available to answer questions, provide information, and connect fellow students to resources.