SSMU Gendered and Sexualized Violence Policy

SSMU Gendered and Sexualized Violence Policy

SSMU Gendered and Sexualized Violence Policy



  • The Gendered and Sexualized Violence Policy (GSVP) serves to create confidential and survivor-centric processes for members of the SSMU community who have experienced sexual violence and/or gendered violence to receive support and accommodations and make a complaint about sexual violence
  • The policy provides both alternative resolution and investigation processes,  informed by a survivor centric approach that takes into account the wishes and needs of the survivor.

The Policy is administered by two Anti-Violence Coordinators who  facilitate training, lead alternate resolution processes and conduct investigations, and provide support to people who have experienced sexual violence.

Complaint Process
  • The GSVP applies to all members of the SSMU community, including individuals using or participating in SSMU Services and Clubs or individuals on SSMU property.
  • Instances that fall under this policy include any act of gendered violence, sexual harassment, and sexual violence that may negatively affect a person’s ability to feel safe and to access SSMU spaces or services. 
  • This includes instances that take place in the University’s learning, living, or work environment, on or off campus, or through social or other electronic media.
  • The policy broadly defines sexual violence as any non-consensual, unwanted actual, attempted, or threatened act or behaviour that is carried out through sexual means or by targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. This act may or may not involve physical contact. 
    • Types of sexual violence include sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, distribution of sexually explicit photograph or recording, and stealthing
  • Gendered violence is defined as any act of physical, verbal, or emotional aggression which implicates, targets, or de-legitimizes an individual’s gender presentation or identity; or an act reinforcing gender inequalities resulting in physical, sexual, emotional, or economic harm.
    •  This includes misogynistic, queerphobic, and transphobic violence. 
    • Types of gendered violence include intentional misgendering, intentional outing, verbal abuse, use of gendered slurs, intimate partner violence, physical violence or intimidation. 
  • At any point in the complaint process, the person making a complaint can choose to withdraw their complaint and end the process. 
  • At no point in the process will the person making the complaint be asked questions about their character and choices, including questions about their prior sexual activity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 
  • Both the person making the complaint and the person the complaint is about have the right to a support person and an advocate and have the right to ask for information about the case and its progress.
Complaint Procedure

If an individual wants to disclose an incident of sexual or gendered violence, they can contact the Anti-Violence Coordinators at If you are not sure if your experiences fit within the GSVP or are unsure of your next steps, the AVCs can assist you.

First, the AVC will discuss resources and accommodations. This could include student-run or institutional resources at McGill or resources in the wider Montreal area. Accommodations could include workplace accommodations or assistance receiving institutional accommodations like exam deferrals, class changes, housing changes, or financial support.

To initiate a complaint, the individual can submit, written complaint to the AVCs detailing the situation. They can also set up a meeting with the AVCs to assist in filing a complaint. The AVCs will then  determine if the complaint falls within the scope of the policy. If the complaint does fall within the scope, and If an individual would like to proceed with a form of resolution, there are two options – alternation resolution or formal investigation

Alternate Resolution Process

An alternate resolution process  is a mutually agreed upon, survivor-centric process for recourse following a complaint. Possible outcomes include:

  • anonymous documentation
  • space and work accommodations
  • issuing an apology and/or delivering an impact statement
  • meeting with the Anti-Violence Coordinator to facilitate discussion based on restorative justice principles.
Formal Investigation

A formal investigation process can be initiated upon the request of a complainant to investigate and address an incident or incidents of gendered and/or sexual violence. Possible outcomes include:

  • a conduct agreement that holds the individual accountable for expected future behaviour
  • participation in anti-oppression and other appropriate trainings
  • SSMU space limitations for the person who caused harm 
  • suspension from SSMU Clubs, ISGs, and Services
  • suspension or dismissal from SSMU employment or representative positions
  • Depending on the context of the complaint, it will either be investigated by an Anti-Violence Coordinator or in some cases  an external investigator
  • Following an investigation, a confidential report that outlines the collected evidence as well as the conclusions of the investigator will be produced. The report will then be reviewed by the GSVP Committee, which will make a final decision and apply sanctions. 
  • Individuals have the right to appeal the decision of the committee.

If you have questions about the GSVP or the complaint process, please contact the Anti-Violence Coordinators at