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Western University investigates numerous reports of sexual violence over the weekend

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Western University is investigating numerous reports of sexual violence allegedly occurring over the weekend in London, Ont., As Orientation Week ended.

“We have taken some immediate steps to ensure student safety, including an increased presence of special police officers on campus and an increased presence of staff and security at residences,” said Chris Alleyne, one of the West vice presidents, in a statement.

“I want to be very clear: sexual violence will not be tolerated. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our campus community. As part of Western policy on gender-based and sexual violence, we appreciate and act immediately for any reports of sexual violence.

Many reports of alleged violence are on social media, but CBC News has not been able to verify the reports.

The university is trying to speak directly to students in the residence and encourage people to come up with any information they may have.

The student newspaper, the Western Gazette, reported sexual violence involving students living in Medway-Sydenham Hall.

As of Sunday afternoon, London police had not been involved in the investigation, a police spokesman said.

The university is encouraging people to come up with any information they may have. (Kate Dubinski / CBC)

As of Sunday evening, there had been no official report or complaint under her policy based on gender and sexual violence, Alleyne said.

Students were given training

School policy states that anyone who commits an act of gender-based or sexual violence “will be held accountable in a way that recognizes the dignity and needs of the survivor, the health and safety of members of the university community, and the educational mission of the university.”

Students can file a formal complaint or seek support after the discovery of sexual violence, the policy says.

First-year students were given “extensive education and sexual violence prevention programming” during orientation week.

Residencestaff and Sophs senior year students who help guide orientation week activities were trained on sexual violence policies and procedures for students who discover an incident.

“Gender-based sexual violence is part of a broader social issue involving universities, and the West’s commitment to combating it requires immediate and collective action from the entire community on our campus,” Alleyne said.

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