Sexual misconduct – Ontario universities accused of secrecy

Universities across Ontario have bolstered student supports in recent years to prevent sexual assault on campus, but experts say that behind closed doors they continue to foster a culture of secrecy that's stifling real change, writes Samantha Beattie for HuffPost.

Students who report instances of sexual misconduct by other students or professors are sometimes required to sign non-disclosure agreements – often referred to as gag orders – as part of their settlement, said Susan Vella, a Toronto lawyer who represents sexual misconduct survivors in civil litigation cases. The gag order prevents students from speaking publicly about the abuse.

"Some universities are requesting broad-ranging non-disclosure agreements, and that's the disturbing thing. It's another form of coercive control over the survivor," said Vella. "They're acting like the church did decades ago," referring to the systemic cover-up of Catholic clergy members sexually abusing vulnerable parishioners.
Full report on the HuffPost site