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Response Protocol

Staff, faculty and student leaders must follow the pertinent response protocols, outlined below.

If there is an imminent risk of physical harm, tell the person disclosing to you to contact 911 or their local emergency number and call McMaster Security Services (905-525-9140 ext. 24281) to inform them of the situation.

Disclosures of sexual violence must be brought to the SVPRO Consultant if they meet any of the following limits to confidentiality:

  1. There is a risk of harm (to self, others or the broader community)
  2. There is an obligation by law (if the person disclosing to you is under 16 years of age)
  3. There is an obligation by a regulatory body (if the accused belongs to a profession regulated by a college, such as social workers, nurses or physicians)

Expandable List

  1. Faculty and staff, acting in their capacity as supervisors within a Faculty, Academic Department, or Residence, and/or Workplace Supervisors are responsible for cooperating with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office and/or the Intake Offices in the implementation of Accommodations and Interim Measures.
  2. Faculty and staff, who are health care providers, are required to maintain the confidentiality of patient information disclosed during a medical interaction (e.g. doctors, nurses) in accordance with their professional obligations.
  3. Members of the faculty and staff (with the exception of those identified above) who receive Disclosures must:
    1. Follow the Recognize, Respond, Refer guidelines for support;
    2. Maintain confidentiality within its limits;
      1. If the Limits of Confidentiality apply, discuss Limits with the person and immediately inform the SVPRO Consultant, or
      2. If it is unclear if the Limits of Confidentiality apply, contact the SVPRO Consultant, discussing the Disclosure without providing identifying information, unless the individual has given permission to do so, in order that the Consultant may assess whether the Limits to Confidentiality apply and appropriate next steps; and
    3. Liaise with the Consultant to ensure ongoing support, as needed.

If the limits to confidentiality apply:

If the limits to confidentiality do not apply:

  • Provide student with SVPRO Consultant contact information (email: prahh@mcmaster.ca) and encourage them to reach out in their own time
  • Document on StarRez or Jira (use student name, no other details)
  • Your Residence Life Area Coordinator or Coach will follow up with you

Once you receive a report of sexual violence disclosure on StarRez or Jira, follow up with the CA or Mentor for more details. Do not follow up with the student who disclosed the experience themselves, to limit the number of times they must disclose. Check in to see how the mentor is doing.

In all cases, connect with SVPRO Consultant. If the limits to confidentiality do not apply, you do not need to share the name of the student.

  1. Follow the Recognize, Respond, Refer guidelines for support;
  2. Maintain confidentiality within its limits:
    1. If the Limits of Confidentiality apply, discuss Limits with the student and immediately inform the SVPRO Consultant, or
    2. If it is unclear if the Limits of Confidentiality apply, contact the SVPRO Consultant, discussing the Disclosure without providing identifying information, unless the individual has given permission to do so, in order that the Consultant may assess whether the Limits to Confidentiality apply and appropriate next steps; and
  3. Liaise with the Consultant to ensure ongoing support, as needed.