Saturday, December 2, 2017

University sexual harassment victim kept in dark over whether professor was punished

Véronique Pronovost was sexually harassed by a professor at Université du Québec à
Montréal. Six years later, she still doesn't know if he was disciplined for his actions.
Véronique Pronovost still lacks closure three years after filing a complaint with her university against a professor who sexually harassed her, because the school is keeping her in the dark about how — or even if  — the professor was disciplined.

​"Why would victims go forward and make a complaint if they don't get anything back in terms of closure or anything like that at the end of the process?" Pronovost said to CBC News.

Pronovost was a master's student at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 2011 when the alleged incidents took place.

Her story points to the challenge facing universities in Quebec and across the country. As post-secondary institutions grapple with how to address sexual violence, victims and advocates say some policies lack transparency.

It began, Pronovost said, with comments about her sex life by a professor at a social event off-campus.

Then, at an off-campus party one night, Pronovost says things got worse.

"He became very much insistent and he was trying to kiss me, and kiss me, and kiss me," she said. "At the end of the evening, he just took my hand and put it into his pants, just like that."

Pronovost said she didn't initially file a complaint because she feared it would have repercussions on her academic career. Although the professor was not her direct teacher, she said he held a lot of influence at the school.  (more...)


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