Reporting Gender-Based Violence

A formal report or complaint of gender-based violence is different than a disclosure of gender-based and sexual violence.

Disclosure: The sharing of information by a survivor with a member of the university community concerning and incident of gender-based violence.

Report / Complaint: The sharing of information concerning an incident of sexual violence with the intention of initiating a formal, non-criminal process with the university. The process for reporting an incident of sexual violence to the university is outlined in Western’s Policy on Sexual Violence.

Deciding whether to report sexual violence is the right of the survivor. Accessing support and resources does not require the filing of a formal complaint with the university.


Non-criminal reports of gender-based and sexual violence are managed by the Student Support & Case Management Office (where the Respondent is student) or Human Rights Office (where the Respondent is an employee). A report can be made by contacting one of these offices directly or by filing a complaint. 

Click here to learn more about the Formal Complaint Process.

Have questions? Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Criminal Reports are separate and are managed by the applicable police services. Western Special Constable Services can assist students in connecting with their local police service.

Survivors of sexual assault who are living in Ontario may be eligible for up to four hours of free, confidential legal advice. Information about this service and eligibility criteria can be found here.

Request an Information Meeting to Learn More

Placing control back in your hands can be integral part of the healing process. It is important that you are provided with information so you are able to make a choice about next steps, if any. To help with this, Western wants to ensure that you are fully informed of your options including the difference between a disclosure and a report. Prior to you making a decision to report an incident of sexual violence, the following offices are  able to outline what is involved at each stage of the reporting, investigation and decision-making processes in order to support you in making an informed decision about how you would like to proceed:

Please note, visiting one of these offices does not obligate you to make a report. When meeting with any of these offices you can expect the following:

  • A compassionate and empathetic response
  • An explanation of the limits to confidentiality prior to you being required to disclose any information
  • An explanation of the difference between a disclosure and a report
  • The choice to file a report or not, except in circumstances where the Sexual Violence Review Team determines there is a reasonable concern for the health and safety of other members of the University community
  • An assessment of the current safety risk to you
  • You will not be required to share details of the incident or names of individuals involved in order to obtain information about the processes and supports available to you
  • A discussion about what, if any, accommodations you may see as helpful and the process for obtaining such accommodations
  • Information on services and supports at Western and in the London community that may be able to support you further