McMaster University

Our Commitment

McMaster University is committed to taking action to prevent and respond to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (see the definitions section for more information). McMaster’s commitment includes:

  • Placing the highest priority on survivor safety and ensuring that the campus is welcoming, safe and inclusive for all members of our community;
  • Communicating that sexual violence is not - and will not be - tolerated and will be actively addressed on an ongoing basis;
  • Ensuring that all McMaster University students (graduate, undergraduate, domestic, international and continuing education), faculty and staff know where to go for help and are reassured that University policies are in place to respond in a timely and sensitive manner to sexual violence or the threat of sexual violence;
  • Encouraging any member of the McMaster University community who has experienced sexual violence to access the confidential supports that are available to them on campus and in the Hamilton and surrounding community;
  • Delivering educational programs that challenge attitudes and behaviours that support rape culture and that are aimed at the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence;
  • Providing counsellors and trained staff to support survivors who have experienced sexual violence, intimate and family violence;
  • Ensuring that counsellors and educators are current and knowledgeable about the diversity of manifestations of sexual violence and the particularity of its impacts for different campus communities;
  • Ensuring that counsellors and educators understand that sexual violence is linked to gender inequality experienced by women and by trans and gender non-conforming individuals;

Providing responses to sexual violence that are informed by an awareness that individuals may be targeted because of race, ability/disability, Indigeneity, sexual orientation, non-normative gender identity and gender expression, religion/spirituality, age, citizenship and/or socio-economic status and may have need of diverse and culturally appropriate supports and services.

McMaster

Response Protocol

The purpose of the Response Protocol is to assist all members of the McMaster community in providing a consistent and supportive first response to individuals who disclose experiences of sexual and gender-based violence.

Scope of the Response Protocol

The Protocol and its provisions apply to:

  • All members of the McMaster University community which include but are not limited to: students (graduate, undergraduate, domestic, international and continuing education), staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, adjunct professors, librarians, visiting professors, volunteers, visitors, invited guests, and institutional administrators and officials representing McMaster University.
  • All University-related activities which include but are not limited to: activities occurring in the course of work or study assignments on all University premises or off-campus and where there is a clear nexus to the campus community (co-op placement, clinical placement, internship, practicum, etc.), at work or study-related conferences or training sessions; during work or study-related travel; during events such as public lectures, performances, club events, socials or sports activities or athletic events; or over the telephone or online.
  • All instances of sexual violence that have occurred or are occurring: a) during University-related activities (as defined above) ; or b) are experienced by a member of the University community (as defined above) and may have continuing and negative effects within the residence, educational or employment setting.

This document primarily uses the term ‘sexual violence.’ However, the Protocol is also applicable when responding to disclosures of other forms of gender-based violence, including (but not limited to) intimate and family violence. Please see the definitions section on page 13 for more information.

"Response Protocol" and "Sexual Violence Response Protocol" are used interchangeably throughout the document.

Download the Response Protocol (PDF)

President's Message

McMaster University places the highest priority on ensuring that the campus is welcoming, safe and inclusive for all members of our community.

The Sexual Violence Response Protocol is designed to assist all members of the university community who may receive disclosures of sexual violence in providing a consistent and supportive first response to survivors. The Protocol and the associated website (svrp.mcmaster.ca) map out the supports, services and options available to students, faculty, and staff if they experience sexual, intimate or family violence or the threat of such violence.

Students, staff and faculty have participated in the design of the Protocol and website with the goal of ensuring that the University’s processes are firmly grounded in current social realities. Their work builds on the knowledge and best practices of community organizations experienced in supporting survivors of sexual violence, some of whom are generous partners in McMaster’s efforts. Their work also builds on current research and scholarship that challenges the conditions sustaining sexual violence and illuminates its shifting dynamics and forms.

As the next step, the University will proceed in the same inclusive and evidence-informed manner to develop a sexual violence policy. We will also be undertaking ongoing evaluation of our practices and our progress in addressing and preventing sexual violence.

Patrick Deane
President and Vice-Chancellor

Patrick Deane Profile Photo

Patrick Deane
President and Vice-Chancellor