Story and photos by Teghan Beaudette
Kimalee Phillip, the president of the Graduate Students Association at Carleton University, has been advocating for a sexual assault center on the Carleton campus—something that administration has been stalling on for over two years.
Since a highly publicized sexual assault on the Carleton University campus in 2007, the university has spent over $1.6 million on emergency phones, cameras and lights.
Phillip took Hartwells staff on a walking tour of the campus—showing some of the changes that have been made to increase the physical safety of students on campus and some areas that remain unmonitored, poorly lit and continue to worry students who have to navigate through those areas, especially at night.
Phillip stressed that while additional lights, cameras and emergency phones contribute to feelings of safety on campus, they do not address the larger issues surrounding attitudes towards sexual assault of women. Further, she said, sexual assault is much more likely to be perpetrated by someone familiar to the victim—so these types of measures only address a fraction of the issue.
A sexual assault centre on campus is a critical step in addressing violence against women, especially those on Carleton’s campus, added Phillip.