Sexual harassment shatters ones self esteem Victims often blame themselves and speaking up about it may take years. The trauma can leave lifelong emotional scars. The investigation into allegations from a student of sexual harassment by a University of Manitoba Professor Steve Kirby and the failure to respond and react demonstrates the need for change in procedure. Ignoring a problem of sexual harassment allows the violence to continue, resulting in more victims and the perpetrator feels emboldened. Transferring is not the solution. Acknowledgement, accountability and action.
“CBC has seen two reports from that investigation in June that found Kirby’s behaviour constituted “sexual harassment” and would have created an “intimidating, humiliating or offensive work or learning environment” for female students. February wasn’t the first time the university had been told there were concerns with Kirby’s behaviour. In 2012 another former student had filed a human rights complaint to the university alleging personal harassment. That complaint was tossed out because it was filed too long after the alleged events to meet the time requirements of the university’s complaints policy.” “The University of Manitoba was warned repeatedly about concerns over the harassing behaviour of its star jazz professor, Steve Kirby, during a period stretching back many years.”
“It’s pretty horrifying,” said Julie Lalonde, an Ottawa-based advocate for safe campuses who educates groups about sexual harassment and violence. “The University of Manitoba at the very least needs to take accountability for what they’ve done, to make a statement to students talking about how they failed them, how they were not transparent, how they are moving forward in changing their policies and protocols and the way they do things in the future,” said Lalonde.” Well said!
What did they University know, when did they know it and what did they do to stop it?