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Leonardo College of Design is committed to the elimination of sexual violence in its campus and is committed to supporting those affected.
All members of the College community have a right to study, work and live in an environment that is free from any form of sexual assault, sexual violence and sexual harassment. This policy and related procedures set out the way the College addresses sexual violence. The College has a process of investigation that protects the rights of both the complainant and the respondent.

This Policy applies to all members of Leonardo College of Design including all students, employees, governors, contractors, suppliers of services, individuals who are connected to any College initiatives, volunteers and visitors.
Whereas, anyone can be the target or perpetrator of sexual assault and sexual violence, Leonardo College recognizes that:
I. Women and girls, including Trans women and girls, indigenous women, racialized women, women with disabilities, young and senior women are much more likely to be the targets of sexual violence;
II. The impact of sexual violence is experienced differently by different survivors based on their identities and lived experiences; and
III. Males are also targets of sexual violence.

Sexual violence: Sexual violence means any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation. Sexual violence is about power and control, not about sexual desire.
Anyone, regardless of race, age, disability, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation can experience sexual violence. Sexual violence affects the well-being of individuals and communities.

Sexual assault: Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence and is a criminal offence under the
Criminal Code of Canada. Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the person that it is done to and involves a range of behaviours from any unwanted touching to penetration.

Sexual harassment: Sexual Harassment is a form of sexual violence prohibited by the Ontario
Human Rights Code (Code). Sexual harassment is defined as a course of vexatious comments or conduct based on an individual’s sex and/or gender that is known or ought to be known as unwelcome. Under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), workplace harassment has been expanded to include sexual harassment:

• Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity (including transgender) or gender expression, where the course of comments or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
• Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

Gender-based harassment is a subset of sexual harassment and prohibited by the Code. It refers to behaviours that regulate and reinforce traditional heterosexual gender norms.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to the following:

• Any deliberate and unsolicited sexual comment, the use of overt sexual language, suggestion or physical contact that creates an uncomfortable learning/working environment for the recipient and is made by a person who knows or ought reasonably to know that such action is unwelcome;

• A sexual advance or solicitation made by a person to another, where the person making the advance or solicitation knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome;

• A reprisal or threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance where the reprisal or threat is made by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the other person;

• Unwelcome remarks, jokes, sexual innuendoes or taunting about a person's body, attire, sex, personal or social life;

• Practical jokes of a sexual nature, which cause awkwardness or embarrassment;

• Display and/or distribution of pornographic pictures or other offensive material of a sexual nature, including audio or visual images of an individual through technological devices, equipment and services;

• Unwanted and unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting or pinching;

• Expressions of gender bias which may include remarks that are discriminatory, degrading or derogatory and create a poisoned work environment;

• Requests for sexual favours; and/or

• Sexual assault.

Please note that the behaviours and actions described above are not an exhaustive list of examples of sexual harassment.

Consent: Consent is the voluntary agreement of an individual to engage in sexual activities.
No consent is obtained, where:

a) The agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the individual;
b) The individual is incapable of consenting to the activity;
c) The accused induces the individual to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority;
d) The individual expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity; or
e) The individual, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity.

Considerations related to consent:
• should never be assumed or implied
• is not silence or the absence of “no”
• cannot be given when someone is incapable of consenting (by virtue of intoxication, being asleep or being unconscious, for example)
• can never be obtained through threats or coercion
• can be withdrawn at any time
• cannot be given if the perpetrator abuses a position of trust, power or authority
• cannot be given by anyone other than the person participating in the sexual activity.

Acquaintance sexual assault: Acquaintance sexual assault is a form of sexual violence that includes forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual contact by a friend or acquaintance.

Intimate partner sexual violence: Intimate partner sexual violence is a form of sexual violence that includes sexual assault within an intimate relationship. It includes not only marital rape, but all other forms of sexual assault that take place within a current or former intimate relationship, whether the partners are married or not.

Age of consent for sexual activity: Age of consent for sexual activity in Canada indicates that a person can legally consent to sexual activity at the age of 16 years. Children under 12 can never legally consent to sexual acts. There are variations on the age of consent for adolescents who are close in age between the ages of 12 and 16. Children between 12 and 13 years of age can consent to non-exploitative sex with other youth who are less than 2 years older than they are. Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may consent to non-exploitative sexual activity that is mutual with a person, who is less than 5 years older than they are. Youths 16 and 17 years old may legally consent to sexual acts with someone who is not in a position of trust or authority.

Note: Non-exploitative activity is defined as sexual activity that does not involve prostitution, trafficking or pornography, and where there is no relationship of power, authority or dependency between the persons involved.

Coercion: Coercion is the use of emotional manipulation, pressure, blackmail, or threats, or the promise of rewards or special treatment, to persuade someone to engage in sexual acts.

Rape: This policy uses the term sexual assault to align with the current language used in the
Criminal Code. The term “sexual assault” provides a much broader definition and criminalizes unwanted behaviours, such as touching and kissing, as well as, unwanted oral sex and vaginal and anal intercourse. Although the term rape no longer has legal meaning in Canada, it is still commonly used.

Stalking: Stalking is a form of sexual violence prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada. It involves behaviours that occur on more than one occasion and which collectively instill fear or threaten one’s safety or mental health. Stalking can also include threats of harm to an individual’s friends and/or family. These behaviours include non-consensual communications (face-to-face, phone, email, social media); threatening or obscene gestures or language; surveillance; sending unsolicited gifts; cyber-stalking; and uttering threats.

Survivor: Some persons who have experienced sexual violence may choose to identify as a survivor. Individuals may be more familiar with the term “victim”. The College uses the term “survivor” throughout this policy because some who have experienced sexual assault believe they have overcome the violent experience and do not wish to identify with the victimization. It is the prerogative of the person who has experienced these circumstances to determine how they wish to identify.


1. Policy Statement
All forms of sexual violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Leonardo College.
The College is committed to creating a safe learning, working and living environment for everyone in the College community. This policy aims to encourage individuals who have been affected by or witnessed incidents of sexual violence to make a report to the College’s office.
All reported incidents of sexual violence will be investigated in a manner that ensures due process.
Leonardo College recognizes that sexual violence can occur between individuals regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or relationship status as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code)1 and the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The College also recognizes that individuals who are affected by sexual violence may experience emotional, academic, employment and/or other difficulties.


Leonardo College of Design is committed to:
1.1. Assisting those who have been affected by sexual violence by providing choices, including detailed information and support, such as provision of and/or referral to counselling and medical care, information about legal options, and appropriate academic accommodation;
1.2. Ensuring those who disclose that they have been sexually assaulted are treated with dignity and respect and are supported throughout the process of disclosure, investigation and response;
1.3. Addressing harmful attitudes and behaviours that blame the person who has experienced and/or is affected by sexual assault and sexual violence;
1.4. Treating individuals who disclose sexual violence with compassion, recognizing that their sense of control over their physical and sexual integrity is compromised through no fault of their own;
1.5. Ensuring that on-campus internal investigation procedures are available in case of sexual violence;
1.6. Engaging in appropriate procedures for investigation and adjudication of a complaint that are in accordance with College policies, standards and applicable collective agreements to ensure fairness:
1.7. Ensuring coordination and confidential communication among the various departments who are most likely to be involved in the response to sexual violence;
1.8. Engaging in education and prevention activities in the College community:
1.9. Providing information to the College community about Leonardo College’s sexual violence policies.
1.10. Enabling the creation of a campus environment in which sexual violence is not tolerated; and
1.11. Monitoring and updating our policies and protocols to ensure that they remain effective:

2. Disclosures and Incident Reporting of Sexual Violence
2.1. Responses to disclosures of sexual violence will be non-judgemental, supportive, empathetic and with unconditional regard and respect.
2.2. Individuals who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to come forward to report as soon as they are able to do so and through the avenue that they feel most comfortable to report.
Students, employees and other members of the College community can report incidents of sexual violence to the Office at 416-249-6060 or email at
2.3. Members of the College community who are faculty, employees and contractors have a duty to immediately report all incidents and suspected incidents of sexual violence.
2.4. Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of sexual violence.
2.5. Persons in a position of authority, including persons directing the activities of others, shall take immediate action to respond to or to prevent sexual violence from occurring.
The College takes seriously the failure to report and to take action when it affects the safety of people.
Where the College becomes aware of incidents of sexual violence by a member of the College community or against a member of the College community, that occur on or off College property and pose a risk, the College shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the College community.

3. Complaint Process and Investigations
3.1. Complaint Investigation
A complaint of sexual violence can be filed under this Policy by any member of the College. The College has established procedures related to investigating and making decisions about formal complaints. Where a complaint of sexual violence has been reported, the College will exercise care to protect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent. Except as otherwise stated in this Policy or the relevant Procedure, the College provides those whose rights, privileges or interests may be affected by a decision with notice of the decision to be made, disclosure of facts relevant to the decision and an opportunity to be heard. The College may decide how it meets these obligations in different circumstances and will do so with a view to providing a fair process, making a sound decision and preserving the dignity of survivors. The College has the right to withhold disclosure early on in its process to obtain a person’s independent recollection of events. Appropriate actions may be taken by the College to ensure the safety of the individuals involved in the complaint. No disciplinary action will be taken against a person without his/her knowledge where there is an alleged breach of this Policy.

A report of sexual assault and sexual violence may also be referred to the police, or to other community resources at the complainant’s request, where the persons involved are not members of the College community or otherwise where appropriate. In any case, the College may decide to use an external investigator when appropriate in the circumstances.

3.2 Right to Withdraw a Complaint
A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process. The College understands that individuals who have experienced or been affected by sexual violence may wish to control if and how their experience will be dealt with by the police and/or the College. In most circumstances, the person will retain this control. A person who has experienced sexual violence may choose not to request an investigation and has the right not to participate in any investigation that may occur. In certain circumstances however, if the College believes that the safety of other members of the College community is at risk, the College may be required to initiate or continue an internal investigation and inform the police of the need for a criminal investigation, even when the survivor has exercised their right to withdraw a complaint. The confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritized in these circumstances.

3.3 Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats
It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate against a complainant or other individual(s) for:
• having pursued rights under this Policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code; the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and/or under the Criminal Code of Canada
• having participated or co-operated in an investigation under this Policy or the Ontario
Human Rights Code; and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and/or
• having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this Policy; the Ontario Human Rights Code; and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Anyone engaged in such conduct may be subject to sanctions and/or discipline.
3.4 Vexatious Complaints
Following an investigation, complaints that are found to be frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith, may result in sanctions and/or discipline against the complainant.

4. Confidentiality
Confidentiality is important to those who have disclosed sexual violence. The confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual violence will be strictly observed and the College will restrict routine access to information to individuals with a need for such access and will respect the confidentiality of all persons, including the complainant, respondent and witnesses.
However, confidentiality cannot be assured in the following circumstances:
• An individual is at imminent risk of self-harm;
• An individual is at imminent risk of harming another; and/or
• There are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the College or wider community may be at risk of harm.

In such circumstances, information would only be shared with necessary service areas/departments to prevent harm, and the name of the survivor would not be released to the public.
The nature of complaint investigation precludes anonymity, hence confidentiality has limitations in the investigation processes. However, due diligence shall be exercised to protect the rights of the complainant, respondents and witnesses.
Where the College becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence by a member of the College community against another member of the College community, the College may also be obliged to take steps to ensure that the matter is dealt with in order to comply with the College’s legal obligation and/or its policies to investigate such allegations.
In such cases, specific College administrators will be informed about the reported incident on a “need to know” and confidential basis, but not necessarily of the identities of the persons involved.
All information collected as a result of a report made under the policy and procedure will be managed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Personal Health Information Protection Act as applicable.

5. Support and Representation
Complainants and respondents may attend meetings with a single (non-participating) support person. The College considers requests to attend meetings with additional support persons and with legal or other representation on a case-by-case basis, with a view to promoting a fair and expeditious process. The College may still question and expect direct answers from an individual who is represented.

6. Interim Measures
The rights and privileges of a respondent may be restricted by the College before it makes a final determination about the alleged misconduct. For example, a respondent may be restricted from entering certain parts of the campus and restricted from attending class. Such “interim measures” will be imposed only as necessary to meet the needs of complainants and persons who report incidents of sexual violence. The College will also take steps to minimize the impact of interim measures on respondents. Interim measures are not punishment and do not represent a finding of misconduct. The College may impose interim measures immediately, without a hearing. Respondents may ask the College to review a decision to impose interim measures, but only to address the impact of the imposed measure and the preference for other alternatives.

7. Outcomes
The College will determine, based on its investigation and hearing as appropriate, what happened and whether it constitutes sexual violence. If the College finds there has been misconduct, it will determine the appropriate penalty. Students may face discipline up to and including expulsion. Employees may face penalties, cancellation of contracts and other sanctions. The College may also impose non-punitive measures. The College will inform the complainant and respondent of the results of its investigation as per the applicable procedure.

8. Appeals
Appeals of student violations may be pursued based on limited grounds. There is no formal appeal process for supplier, volunteer or visitor violations.

9. Training
The College community shall participate in ongoing education and training on the interruption and prevention of sexual violence.
9.1 Leonardo College of Design will provide regular trainings on the Sexual Violence policy and applicable procedures to all its constituents.

10. Collection and Reporting of Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Statistics
In accordance with Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, 2016, Postsecondary institutions in Ontario are required to report aggregate data to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development on student disclosures of sexual assault and sexual violence.

11. Policy Review
This Sexual Violence policy shall be reviewed annually in consultation with the College community.


The following represents a list of community support centers ready to help Sexual Violence victims:



COSTI Family and Mental Health Services Centre offers confidential and culturally competent one-on-one supportive and crisis councelling and support group for women experiencing abuse.

Phone: 416-244-7714 or 905-669-5627
Web site:
Address: Sheridan Mall, 1700 Wilson Ave., Suite 105, North York



For over 30 years, the Assaulted Women’s Helpline has served as a free, anonymous and confidential 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis telephone line to all women in the province of Ontario who have experienced any form of abuse.

Toll Free: 1-866-863-0511
TTY: 416-364-8762
Web site:


Toronto Rape Crisis Centre is a feminist grassroots community organization that believes in the equality of all people regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, spiritualities, gender and ability.  Their services are inclusive and equitable to all individuals accessing any of their services or programs.

Administration: 416-597-1171
24/7 Crisis Line: 416-597-8808
Web site: