Globe And Mail Canadian University Report 2012 Pdf
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In a month-long investigation into how police handle sexual assault allegations, The Globe and Mail gathered data from more than police forces. The findings expose deep flaws at every step of the process. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and, word had it, the organizers had already sold more than tickets.
Ava left the dorm with her friends around p. Like many of the neighbouring properties, the vast, nearly century-old home had been converted into student housing. The party washed over every floor and spilled onto the lawn, which was littered with red plastic cups. Someone handed Ava a beer, which she accepted but then quietly set aside, preferring to sip what she had brought. She and her friends watched drinking games: flip cup, then beer pong. As the night went on, things became more and more fuzzy.
Ava remembers being outside with her friends, then leaving to find the washroom inside. With her near-empty drink in hand, she stumbled off alone. He looked to be a few years older than her, with dark, messy hair and a slim build. She remembers they were outside and kissing. And then she blacked out. When things came back into focus, Ava says, she was on the ground near a pine tree, at the north side of the house. She was naked and cold and lying in the dirt.
The man was inside of her. He was raping her. No one could hear her call for help. She had no idea what to do. She wondered if he would kill her when it was over. She stopped fighting and went still. Suddenly, there was a flash. Ava looked over and saw four or five men pointing cellphone cameras in her direction. She became frantic. The man on top of her ran away.
He left his wallet behind, police later told Ava. She was left naked and curled on the ground, her back and hair covered in dirt. Two women who heard her sobbing found Ava shortly after. It was Oct. Her case did not go to court. Her assailant was never arrested, never charged.
In fact, the London Police Service detective concluded that what happened to Ava that night was not a crime. There are many ways to shut a case without laying a charge.
Not enough evidence? On Nov. It meant a crime was neither attempted, nor occurred. It did not immediately brand Ava a liar, necessarily. But it meant she was not raped. Rape, the most serious of those, is a crime so injurious to victims that the judiciary considers it second only to murder in severity.
National policing data, compiled and reviewed by The Globe as part of its month investigation, reveal that one of every five sexual-assault allegations in Canada is dismissed as baseless and thus unfounded.
The result is a national unfounded rate of Look up the rates for the police service in your area. True unfounded cases, which arise from malicious or mistaken reports, are rare.
Between 2 per cent and 8 per cent of complaints are false reports, according to research from North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Inflated unfounded rates create the impression that police receive fewer complaints of sexual assault than they actually do.
In turn, that gives the appearance that more complaints lead to an arrest. When unfounded cases are factored in as complaints, however, the charge rate drops to 34 per cent. While some cities, such as Toronto, Winnipeg , Surrey and Windsor , have single-digit unfounded rates, The Globe found that police in communities dismiss at least one-third of sex-assault complaints as unfounded.
When complaints of sexual assault are dismissed with such frequency, it is a sign of deeper flaws in the investigative process: inadequate training for police; dated interviewing techniques that do not take into account the effect that trauma can have on memory; and the persistence of rape myths among law-enforcement officials. What does unfounded mean to anybody? To conduct its review, The Globe and Mail requested unfounded data from every police service in the country, which covers more than 1, jurisdictions.
Though not all forces complied with the request, The Globe received data from police jurisdictions, which represent 92 per cent of the population. In addition to the unfounded data, The Globe interviewed 54 complainants from across the country about their experience reporting a sexual assault to police, in order to understand how their cases were handled.
For the majority of cases, The Globe was able to obtain documentation, such as police notes and e-mails, medical records, court documents, video and audio interviews, and internal police professional-standards reports. In all but 15 cases, those files were dismissed without charges. While complainants are rarely, if ever, told whether their allegation has been deemed unfounded, The Globe obtained documents that showed that seven of the 54 cases had been closed as unfounded.
At least four other cases were likely closed in that way: Two complainants were charged with public mischief for filing a false report in both instances, the charges were dropped before going to court ; another two women said they were threatened with public mischief after making allegations of sexual assault.
Because unfounded statistics are kept secret — except through individual and often costly freedom-of-information requests — there is no imperative for police to analyze or account for them. Until , Statistics Canada released unfounded numbers. The last year for which numbers are available is , when the national unfounded rate for sexual offences was 16 per cent. The agency collects data through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, a national set of standards that every police service is supposed to follow.
The definition of unfounded, along with all other clearance codes, is laid out explicitly in the UCRS protocols. The s and s were watershed decades for sexual-assault legislation and jurisprudence in Canada.
The crimes of rape and indecent assault were replaced with three tiers of sexual-assault offences, encompassing a fuller spectrum of sexual violence. Alongside other changes, these decades gave Canada some of the most progressive sexual-assault laws in the world, in theory. Every year, an average of 5, people are reporting sexual violence to Canadian police, but their cases are dropping out of the system as unfounded long before a Crown prosecutor, judge or jury has a chance to weigh in.
The result is a game of chance for Canadian sex-assault complainants, whose odds of justice are determined not only by the facts of their case, but by where the crime took place, which police force picks up their file, and what officer shows up at their door. I felt like I was sinking. London is a university and college town of about , people in Southwestern Ontario. Split between Western University and Fanshawe College, roughly 43, full-time students call the city home, giving it a hard-partying reputation.
For the London Police Service, that reputation is more than a headache. The force has publicly complained about the rowdy parties, incidents of vandalism, and nuisance infractions in student neighbourhoods. Victimization studies have shown that, across Canada, specific groups of young women have the highest rates of sexual assault — including students, single women, those who live in urban areas, and females between the ages of 15 and When Ava moved to London, she ticked every one of those boxes.
And while no one knows exactly how many sexual assaults involve alcohol more than 90 per cent of incidents are never reported research has suggested that half of all victims and perpetrators had been drinking beforehand. With its large student population and party culture, London has all the hallmarks of a community where young women are at risk of sexual violence.
And yet, the extent of that problem has been obscured, because the London Police Service has one of the highest unfounded rates among Canadian cities. In , the service dismissed about a third of all sexual-assault allegations in this way, meaning that on the books, there were complaints in the city that year; in fact, there were Over the five-year period reviewed, London presented one of the highest unfounded rates of the 25 largest police communities in the country.
The Globe found that the service dropped 30 per cent of sexual-assault allegations as unfounded between and Five Southern Ontario cities, including London, posted the highest figures, with unfounded rates ranging from 28 per cent to 31 per cent. The numbers might have suggested a pattern — that Ontario police services are more likely than others to rule cases as unfounded — except that some of the lowest unfounded rates were also in that province: Windsor , with 3 per cent; and Toronto , with 7 per cent.
Western provinces fared better than the rest of the country. British Columbia 11 per cent posted the lowest rate. Manitoba came in at 14 per cent, Alberta at 18 per cent, and Saskatchewan at 19 per cent. Newfoundland and Labrador, with 16 per cent, and Quebec, at 17 per cent, were also below the national rate. The Globe found that every other province and territory is dismissing at least a quarter of all sexual-assault complaints as unfounded: New Brunswick 32 per cent , the Northwest Territories 30 per cent , Nunavut 28 per cent , Prince Edward Island 27 per cent , Yukon 25 per cent , and Nova Scotia and Ontario both 25 per cent.
But regardless of whether a province happened to post a high or low rate, each showed wide swings on the ground. Manitoba had the second-lowest provincial rate, and Winnipeg police unfounded only 2 per cent of allegations. But two hours west of the capital, in Brandon , the rate stood at 18 per cent.
These types of discrepancies were visible again and again across the country in small towns and in cities. Both police jurisdictions are of comparable size, 10, and 13,, respectively.
In New Brunswick, the Saint John Police Force recorded an unfounded rate of 51 per cent; but in Fredericton , the rate was just 16 per cent.
The cities are about the same size: 70, in Saint John, 59, in Fredericton. He says that, when viewed nationally, such fluctuations point to the conclusion that victims are more likely to be believed in some areas of the country than in others.
The two jurisdictions border each other and both have more than a million residents. Crew is one of only a few Canadian researchers to collect unfounded rates since police stopped making them public. Through freedom-of-information requests, he and researcher Teresa DuBois obtained statistics from seven Ontario police services spanning the period to
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