Sexual violence support

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual or gender-based violence, there is support here at OCAD University.


Confidential counselling for students who are, or know someone who is, a survivor of sexual violence or who have experienced abusive relationships. Confidential counselling is available for students who are survivors of sexual violence, who have experienced abusive relationships or who know someone in these situations. You can drop by Health and Wellness and speak to a counsellor between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m, Monday to Friday.

Alternatively you can call or email us to set up an appointment to speak with a counsellor. This meeting can be an informal way to talk about the incident and get more information on next steps. Location: Level 6, 230 Richmond St. W. | T: 416-977-6000, Ext. 260 E:


OCAD U’s Safety & Security Services team is responsible for the safety of all members of the community and will work with students, staff and faculty to develop safety plans for anyone who feels they may be at risk. Security services also include:

Emergency and non-emergency service

To reach Safety & Security Services in an emergency, phone 416-977-6000 Ext. 511 (or use any of the red phones on campus, or simply dial 511 from any office or hallway phone). For non-emergency service, please dial 416-977-6000 Ext. 366. Always call 911 in an emergency off campus and outside of campus hours. 

Sexual Assault Reporting

OCAD U Safety & Security Services can assist members of our community who would like to report an incident to the police or through OCAD U’s internal processes for investigation. 

WalkSafe Program

The WalkSafe Program provides students, faculty and staff with a personal security escort. Please contact Campus Security at least 10 minutes prior to your departure and Security personnel will escort you to the Grange underground parking facility or a nearby bus stop/subway station. 

The Response to Violent and Threatening Behaviour Policy outlines OCAD University’s obligations with respect to any situation involving violence or threat of violence and applies to all students, faculty, staff, volunteers and visitors. Through that policy, OCAD U has a highly trained team of professionals who assess risk of violence expediently and take appropriate action. All situations involving violence or risk of violence should be reported to Security & Emergency Services.


OCAD U has a Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy (RWLEP). It says that harassment and discrimination violate an individual’s human rights and run contrary to the University’s fundamental values. This includes sexual and gender-based harassment on campus, off-campus and on-line.

At any time, you can contact ODESI to confidentially ask a question, raise a concern or seek assistance. Meetings can be arranged off-campus if you prefer. At the meeting, you would have an opportunity to share your concern and ODESI will help clarify the issue and identify action that could be taken to resolve the concern in the way that is most appropriate for you and is directed by you. We can also assist you in arranging academic accommodations such as studying from home, course or assignment extensions, or withdrawing late from a course, if needed. 

Contact Amanda Hotrum, Director, Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives and 416-977-6000 Ext. 4860.


The policy defines sexual assault as an offence and applies to situations involving students. To make a complaint under this policy, contact Deanne Fisher, Associate Vice-President Students at 416-977-6000, Ext. 2850, or

Click here to read the statement from President Diamond on It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.


As part of OCAD U’s broader strategy to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence on campus, in February 2015 a Working Group was struck to review and respond to Premier Wynne’s Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Harassment, to develop OCAD U’s Sexual Violence Policy and protocol, and to develop student orientation information to build awareness of intersecting forms of violence and consent culture.

The Working Group welcomes community feedback and involvement and includes the following members:  
Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students (Chair)
Khadija Aziz, Student Union
Pablo Munoz, Student Union
McKenna Gray, Student Representative
Amanda Hotrum, Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives 
Shamina Chherawala, Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives
Louis Toromoreno, Security and Emergency Services
Jennifer Robinson, Health and Wellness
Fatimah Tuggar, Faculty of Art 

Draft Policy on Sexual & Gender-based Violence Prevention

This Working Group of students, staff and faculty are developing a policy on prevention and response to sexual violence in our community. The OCAD U community is invited to provide feedback on the Draft Policy on the Prevention of Sexual Violence. 

Public Education

2016 - (Un)knotted Public Art Installation

Over the Fall of 2016, a group of students across disciplines participated in a workshop series focused on building a nuanced understanding of social justice, oppression, consent culture and bystander intervention to resist and reimagine sexual violence in the OCAD U community.  The culmination of this work is Unknotted — the OCAD U activation of Sexual Assault: The Roadshow, a traveling exhibition led by professor Lillian Allen and sexual assault activist Jane Doe, featuring community-led art that prevents and responds to sexual violence across the province.  The retrofitted container is travelling on a flatbed truck to 15 cities/areas in Ontario over a three year period. At each stop, local artists are working with anti-violence experts and community participants to create, curate and exhibit art that “talks back” to sexual assault.


[Image description: OCAD U students visiting the (un)knotted installation. photo credit: Olya Levina]

Situated in Butterfield Park for two weeks, the container was transformed into an evolving installation composed of strips of fabric symbolising four grounding principles of by-stander intervention. Visitors could navigate the space and share an experience, ask questions, send a message or co-sign their commitment to responding to sexual violence, by tying written messages into the fabric of the installation. 

The workshop series was facilitated by Sheila Sampath, assistant professor in the Faculty of Design and creative director at The Public Studio and sponsored by OCAD U’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group.  


[Image Description: close-up of (un)knotted installation including community contributions written on paper and knotted into fabric strands. photo credit: Olya Levina]

The project was created and informed by OCAD U students Wil Brask, Leilah Dhoré, Morgan Elena, Elfy Delgado, Natalie Mark, Dana McCool, Khadijah Morley, Lizz Khan and Francis Tompkins. 

2015 - Create Consent Zine


The Working Group invited The Public to deliver training in August 2015 to student leaders on an intersectional approach to sexual and gender-based violence and building consent culture and to facilitate the development of student-created materials for Fall Orientation. The Public is a design firm with a commitment to anti-oppression and sustainability that is run by Principal and Creative Director, and OCAD U faculty (Faculty of Design), Sheila Sampath.

 The students created a campaign titled ‘Create Consent’ and wrote and illustrated a zine to be distributed across campus. The 30 page zine covers issues around consent and sexual violence on-line, in classrooms/studios, and in the community and provides a glossary of terms and supports/resources available to students. Excerpt from the introduction:

"Over the summer of 2015, a group of OCAD U students came together to share our knowledge and experiences in creating consent culture on campus in ways that centre anti-oppression and intersectionality. Our goal was to create a resource about consent to distribute across campus, and to better inform students about their options if they do experience sexual or gender-based violence.  This is what led us to create this zine!

With this, we want to share ways we can challenge oppressive behaviour in classrooms & studios, on-line and in our communities, places you can go for support or to raise a concern, and provide tips and resources.

We are committed to taking action and creating a campus culture of shared responsibility. This zine is just the beginning of a year-long series of initiatives to continue this dialogue

create consent zine photo

Helpful Contacts

Shamina Chherawala

Programs, Outreach &
Human Rights Advisor
Telephone: 416-977-6000, Ext 3840


Sustainability Coordinator
Telephone: 416-977-6000, Ext 4862

Office location

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability initiatives is
located 230 Richmond St. W., Level 6

Mailing address

Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives
OCAD University
100 McCaul St.
Toronto, ON M5T 1W1

OCAD U is committed to providing accessible information to our community. If you require information published by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI) in an alternate format, please forward your request to and let us know what format is preferable. (Alternate formats include: large print, sign language interpretation, braille, e-text, closed-captioning, standard text, voice, digital audio, video, etc.)