This fall, Ending Violence Across Manitoba Inc. (EVA) is launching a groundbreaking initiative called REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors). It will provide students with an online platform that offers them anonymity in reporting sexual violence on-campus. It is in partnership with 11 post-secondary institutes in Manitoba. Providence is one of the participating universities.
Here’s how it works:
- Victims of sexual violence will be able to enter their accounts on the platform specific to their school community.
- They can share as much or as little information as they feel comfortable.
- They can choose to file an anonymous report, connect to their campus or file a police report.
“The purpose of REES really is twofold: one is to create a safe, secure space for survivors to report and to provide them with information that can inform the choices they make for themselves, and then also to gather pertinent data that can be utilized by post-secondary institutions to create safer campuses,” says REES project manager Mary Lobson.
Every semester, anonymous data sets will be given to participating colleges and universities to provide them with concrete information about the type of violence happening on campus, when and where sexual assaults are occurring and who the alleged perpetrators are.
The hope for this pilot project is that more incidents, ranging from cyber stalking to sexual assault, will get reported and that it will empower survivors to report offenses on their own terms. In Manitoba, often victims of sexual assault need to make a report in person, and they’re at the mercy of the current systems and processes in place. However, REES provides students with the autonomy, options and support that they need. You can READ MORE here.