Sobering back-to-school refresher: 1 in 5 women will be victims of a sexual crime during her post-high school career, though most cases will go unreported. So yes it’s about time educational institutions started stepping up with next-level on-campus plans of action.
The University of Toronto is doing its part with the announcement of a new hire who will manage the issue head-on. She’s Terry McQuaid, executive director, personal safety, high risk and sexual violence prevention and support, and she previously worked as the director of counselling and accessibility services at Seneca College. McQuaid hails from Halifax and has a doctorate in clinical psychology.
The newly-created role, which begins on October 11, will involve overseeing a proposed “centralized system to facilitate the support, reporting and investigating of victim complaints,” according to U of T News. Based on advice from an expert committee, the policy and position were also a response toward fulfilling Ontario’s mandate that all universities and colleges have a formal policy on sexual assault before January 2017 and positions U of T at the head of the class.
“This is a pivotal time” McQuaid told U of T News. “That speaks volumes to the commitment of the university. It is top of mind for the leadership. I think that is amazing.”
McQuaid will be building on the services already offered by the school across its three campuses and will be working closely with Laura Bradbury, the new director of the Office of Safety & High Risk, and a forthcoming director for the new Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre.