How To File A Report With The University
Our Office will work with you in determining what support and/or workplace and academic accommodations you need and help you access them. Everyone's needs will be different, and the types and forms of support and accommodations made available will be tailored on a case-by-case basis.
We can assist survivors in understanding each of these options and help them collect all the information that they need in order to make an appropriate decision on next steps.
If you have been affected by sexual violence by another member of the Ryerson community, you have the right to report it to the university. If you do choose to file a report you have to contact Human Rights Services. The complainant may file a report or complaint in writing via e-mail or letter or may request an in-person meeting to make their report or complaint. Our office is able to provide support through the process if you would like.
Human Right Services Contact info:
Human Rights Services
Location: POD 254A
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 5349
You can expect a timely, transparent and fair process. You will be advised of your rights and responsibilities, will be kept informed about the investigation and outcome, and will receive regular updates including estimated timeframes and any delays.
You also have the right to a support person throughout the process. Our office can provide this support or you may choose to identify an alternate person to accompany you to meetings. This could include a friend, family member, legal representative, etc.
All information related to cases of sexual violence will be kept confidential. You are expected to keep the details of any case confidential, outside your circle of support, in order to ensure the integrity of the investigation and decision making process.
However there may be circumstances where university employees may be required to disclose information about the case. this includes;
An individual is at risk of life-threatening self-harm;
An individual is at risk of harming others;
There is risk to the safety of the university and/or broader community;
Disclosure is required by law; for instance, under the Child and Family Services Act, reporting is legally required if an incident involves a child 16 or under; or, to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act or with human rights legislation; and/or
Evidence of the disclosed incident of sexual violence is available in the public realm (e.g. video shared publicly on social media).
If an investigation is opened, it may be necessary to implement interim measures, which are temporary measures put in place to protect the parties and the community. Consequences for violating interim measures will be clearly communicated to you at the time they are applied. Examples of interim measures that might be considered include:
Changes within university housing (if you and the complainant live in residence)
Restrictions to access campus or parts of campus
No contact/communication orders
Changes to class and/or section enrollments
At any time throughout the process, before a decision is made, you may choose to withdraw your complaint. You are required to communicate, in writing, your decision to withdraw their complaint to Human Rights Services. In some circumstances, the university may still pursue the complaint (see the next section). Know that even if you withdraw your complaint you can still receive support from our office.
In some cases the university may be required to or choose to investigate an incident of sexual violence even though the survivor has chosen not to file a report or complaint.
Examples of such circumstances could include, but are not limited to:
Where there is risk to the safety of individuals and/or the broader community; for example where repeated allegations have been made about the conduct of the same individual.
Where required by law, such as under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, external link.
Where there is evidence of sexual violence in the public realm (such as a video posted on social media).
If such a situation applies to the survivor, information and support will be made available at every step of the process, even if they choose not to participate.
Ryerson’s Residence Community Standards process would apply where the individuals involved live on-campus in a Ryerson residence.
Residents PDF fileagree to act in a responsible manner so as not to compromise or endanger the health and safety of others (in person or via social media).
Housing & Residence Life has the right to determine what constitutes unsafe practices and the appropriate sanctions for residents in such situations.
If you are part of an union, you will be expected to take your complaint with your union before reporting to Human Rights Services or Human Resources.
All collective agreements (union contracts) provide for a grievance process. This is a legally-protected process for complaints, including enforcement of employment and human rights law.
Most collective agreements contain specific extra protections against discrimination and harassment as well.
It will be up to you whether you proceed with a grievance, but they can advise you, and explain your rights and options.
If you are not comfortable with your local union representative, you can call the main office or a higher-level representative.
If Human Rights Services opens an investigation, they will appoint an impartial investigator who has knowledge, training and experience in sexual violence investigations and related issues. The investigator may be internal or external to the university.
If you reasonably believe that the investigator may have a conflict of interest, you may request an alternative investigator. Human Rights Services will consider your concerns to determine whether or not to assign an alternative investigator.
Once an investigator is appointed, Human Rights Services will provide you with a notice of investigation that includes the following information:
i. The name and contact information of the investigator
ii. A written account of the complaint
iii. Confirmation of the right to a support person or representative during the investigation
iv. Any interim measures that will be in place during the investigation
v. A link to the sexual violence policy and any other related policies
vi. The name and contact information of the university support person designated to support you. This is typically one of our staff.
Once an investigator is appointed, they will contact the parties within seven (7) business days to confirm:
i. Their appointment by Human Rights Services
ii. The role of the investigator
iii. Next steps in the investigation process
- Intakes: The Complainant shares concerns with Human Rights Services, describes what happened and who is involved. Investigation process & possible remedies are discussed.
- Interim Measures: Human Rights Services may require certain interim measures such as a “no contact” order between parties involved in a complaint of an investigation.
- Alternative Resolution: The Complainant or Respondent may request Alternative Resolution options outside of the investigation process. The Complainant can choose to return to an investigation processes at any time.
- Complaint: The complainant initiates a complaint. Complainant gives a statement, along with any supporting documentation and names of witnesses, if applicable.
- Investigation: An Investigator will be assigned to investigate the complaint. The Investigator works independently to analyze the complaint and write a report on their findings, including:
- Interviewing complainants, respondents and witnesses
- Reviewing any documentation
- Allowing the Complainant and Respondent to review and respond to a summary of their statements.
- Investigation Report: The Investigator writes a report of their findings and submits it to the Director of Human Rights Services for review. After the review, the Director forwards the report to the decision-maker.
- Decision: The decision-maker reviews the report and has the opportunity to meet with all parties and university administrators, as required. The decision-maker renders a decision and where applicable assigns sanctions/remedies.
- Appeal Process: Parties can appeal based on matters of substance and/or process.
Support is available throughout this process.