Frequently Asked Questions
How does REES work?
About Sexual Violence
Connect to My Campus
Report to Police
Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI)
Who can use REES?
REES can be used by any member of the campus community of the post-secondary institutions who have partnered with REES. This includes students, staff and faculty and visitors to campus.
REES is intended for an individual to Record and/or Report their own experience of campus-related sexual violence. You cannot report something that you witnessed or that has happened to someone else.Back to top
Who can see my username?
Only you can see your username. Your username is only used to log in and access your REES account. It cannot be viewed by REES, your post-secondary institution or police.Back to top
Can I change my username?
No. Once you have created an account you cannot change your username.Back to top
Can I change my password?
No. You cannot change your password. This is a security feature of the platform. It is important to use a password that you will remember. You will not be able to log in to your account without it.Back to top
Can I change my passphrase?
No. You have to use the same passphrase each time you access the Record that it was created with. If you create a new Record you can use the same passphrase or use a new one. It is important to use a passphrase that you will remember. You will not be able to take any action such as Connect to My Campus or Report to Police without it.Back to top
Can I retrieve a forgotten password or passphrase?
No. You cannot retrieve your password or passphrase. This is a security feature of the platform. It is important to use a password/passphrase that you will remember. You will not be able to log in to your account or send a Report without it.Back to top
How long is my Record saved for?
All Records will be saved in REES for 10 years unless you choose to delete the Record or Account.Back to top
Can I edit or delete a Record?
Yes. Log in and go to My Account. Choose the Record you want to delete and click Delete.Back to top
Can I create multiple Records?
Yes. You can create multiple Records of different incidents in your account.Back to top
Can I print my Record?
Yes. This option is available at My Account. You can also print your Record from the Record Summary when you Connect to My Campus or Report to Police.Back to top
Can I permanently delete my account?
Yes. Go to Settings and select Delete My Account. When you delete your account any Records you have created are permanently deleted. This action cannot be reversed.
Because REES does not link any account information to Anonymous Reports, once an Anonymous Report has been submitted to REES it cannot be deleted or removed from the database.Back to top
What is the Narrative?
The Narrative is the section of your Record that allows you to write about what happened to you, in your own words. Like all questions in the Record, this is optional.
You can choose whether or not to include your Narrative if you Connect to My Campus.
You cannot include the Narrative if you Report to Police.Back to top
Why might I consider writing a narrative?
If you are not sure, or still thinking about whether or not you want to report, writing a Narrative may help you document details of the incident that you remember now.Back to top
Does sending a Record to police mean I do not have to give a statement?
No. If you Report to Police, police will still require you to answer questions about what happened to you and/or provide a statement.Back to top
About Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence is a broad term that includes sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct. The word violence is not limited to physical violence and also includes emotional and psychological harm.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Some forms of sexual harassment are illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada.
This can include sexualized language/jokes, pressuring for sexual activity, and unsolicited sexually explicit text/email/images.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of settings including the workplace, learning environment, home or community.Back to top
What is Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual misconduct is a non-legal term used informally to describe a broad range of behaviors, which may or may not involve harassment.
This can include inappropriate work relationships (e.g. between a boss and employee).
Sexual misconduct can contribute to a toxic or unsafe workplace or learning environment.Back to top
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault refers to any sexual contact that occurs without consent, such as unwanted sexual touching, kissing, penetration. Sexual Assault is a crime in Canada.Back to top
What is Consent?
Consent is the voluntary agreement to participate in a sexual activity. You can change your mind at any time and withdraw your consent if you are uncomfortable. All people involved must feel that they are able to say “no” or stop the sexual activity at any point. Silence does not equal consent.
Consent cannot be given if an individual is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or if they are unconscious. A person in a position of power, trust or authority cannot obtain consent. If a person uses coercion or threats, it is not consent.Back to top
What is an Anonymous Report?
An Anonymous Report includes only the gender, multiple choice and dropdown portions of your Record. It contains no personal or identifying information or your Narrative.
Anonymous Reports are stored together in a database and REES will access the data to provide a summary of the findings to the post-secondary institution following each semester. They will not see individual Reports.Back to top
Why might I consider sending an Anonymous Report?
Sometimes survivors do not wish to make a report to police or participate in an investigation and complaints process with their post-secondary institution. An Anonymous Report allows survivors to have their voice heard and their experience acknowledged anonymously, without making a report.
The data obtained from Anonymous Reports is intended to help measure the incidence and identify patterns of sexual violence on campus, with the goal of improving policy, supports or responses to sexual violence on campus.Back to top
Can I still Report to Police or Connect to My Campus if I send an Anonymous Report?
Yes. Making an Anonymous Reports does not initiate contact with Police or your post-secondary institution. Your Record will remain saved and encrypted should you decide in the future you would like to Report to Police or Connect to My Campus. You can return to REES using your log-in information and passphrase to select these options at any time you choose.Back to top
Can I cancel my Anonymous Report?
No. Once you have submitted an Anonymous Report to REES, the action cannot be cancelled.Back to top
Sexual violence is never okay. If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, know that it is not your fault and there are supports available to you. Every situation is unique, and your experience is valid. Please reach out if you feel you would benefit from connecting with someone at your post-secondary institution to support you.
Does my post-secondary institution have a drug/alcohol immunity policy?
Yes. Your post-secondary institution’s drug/alcohol immunity policy states:
"Those who make a report that they have been subjected to an act of Sexual Violence will not be punished by the College if their report contains an admission of illegal consumption of drugs or alcohol."Back to top
What happens after I Connect to My Campus?
REES will send your contact information to the designated staff person at your post-secondary institution. They will contact you directly to follow up. You can choose to attach your Record and/or your Narrative when you Connect to My Campus.
When you select Connect to My Campus, an Anonymous Report is automatically generated. You do not need to send an Anonymous Report as a separate, additional report.Back to top
Can I Connect to My Campus without sending my Record and Narrative?
Yes. You can decide how much information you share, when and with whom. You can send only your contact information when you Connect to My Campus or you have the option to provide your Record and/or Narrative.Back to top
Who will contact me?
When you Connect to My Campus your information will go to:
Resource and Resolution Advisor
Email: email@example.comBack to top
What supports can they offer me?
There are a wide range of supports that are available to you. They may include:
- Referrals to counselling
- Academic accommodations
- Information about reporting options
- Assistance with reporting
- Information about post-secondary institution complaints process
Are there limits to confidentiality or circumstances where my post-secondary institution will be required to proceed with an investigation against my wishes?
There may be circumstances that your post-secondary institution is required to proceed with an investigation or notify police without your consent. Review your sexual violence policy or contact your post-secondary institution for more information.Back to top
Can I cancel my Connect to My Campus?
No. Once you have selected Connect to My Campus, the action cannot be cancelled. If you change your mind and decide you do not want to talk to your post-secondary institution, you can let them know that when they contact you.Back to top
Is there a time limit to Connect to My Campus?
No. REES does not have a time limit to use Connect to my Campus. Your post-secondary institution may have a policy regarding time limits to report and participate in an investigation or complaints process. Review your post-secondary institution’s sexual violence policy for more information.Back to top
What can I report to police?
If you are in danger, if you are injured or require medical attention, call 911. REES is intended for past sexual assaults.
Canada has a broad legal definition of sexual assault. It includes all sexual activity that occurs without consent, such as unwanted sexual grabbing, kissing, and fondling as well as rape.
Sexual activity is only legal when both parties consent. Consent is defined in Canada’s Criminal Code in s. 273.1(1), as the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in questionBack to top
What happens after I report to police?
REES will send your Record directly to police. Once police receive your Record, you will be contacted directly by phone to follow up. You cannot include your Narrative with your Police Record and can save/print for your own reference.
When a Report to Police is made, an Anonymous Report is automatically generated. You do not need to submit an Anonymous Report as a separate, additional report.Back to top
What does an investigation involve?
The designated investigator will determine next steps, which may include:
- Interviewing you to gather more information
- Taking a formal statement (in person or on video)
- Collecting evidence from the scene of the crime
- Interviewing witnesses
You have the right to have a support person present with you during a police statement. You can request an advocate to accompany you. Contact the sexual assault services in your community for more information.
At that point, police might decide not to move forward with a criminal investigation. If they do move forward, the investigator will present the evidence and details of the case to a Crown Attorney who will determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward with a criminal prosecution.
If the matter goes to court, your Record will likely be provided to the perpetrator’s legal counsel by police.Back to top
Can I cancel my Report to Police?
No. Once you have submitted a Report to Police through REES, this action cannot be reversed.
If you change your mind about involving police, you can speak to police about this when they contact you. However, law enforcement policy requires that an investigation must be conducted if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an assault occurred against a current or former intimate partner (e.g. boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, spouse). There may be other reasons police want to continue with an investigation.
This means that if you report a sexual assault involving a current or past intimate partner to police, and you later change your mind about wanting police involved, police may still be required to continue with the investigation against your wishes.Back to top
Is there a time limit to Report to Police?
No. There is no time limit on using REES to Report to Police. In Canada, there is no time limit or statute of limitations to report to police.
However, delays in reporting may mean evidence to support an investigation is lost. If you decide you want to Report to Police, it is recommended to do so as early as possible to collect evidence. You can still report a historical sexual assault to police.Back to top
What is physical evidence?
Physical evidence is any material item that can be used in an investigation to show what happened. This can include objects, clothing, bed linens, condoms, or anything that might have DNA (bodily fluids, hair, skin cells) from the perpetrator.
If police are involved they will typically obtain evidence from the scene where the sexual assault occurred. It is best to leave things undisturbed by not cleaning or removing any items from the scene. Evidence can also be collected from the body or clothes of the survivor during a sexual assault forensic exam.
If you are not sure whether you want to involve police, you may want to keep evidence in case you later decide to make a report. Keep unwashed clothing or items in a paper bag (plastic bags can damage evidence).Back to top
What is digital evidence?
Digital evidence (also referred to as electronic evidence) is information that is stored on, received, or transmitted in a digital format by an electronic device. This evidence is often created when sexual violence involves the use of technology. Some examples include:
- Text messages or other online communication that contains threats
- Harassing posts on social media
- Email, photos, videos, voicemail messages
How can I safely store my digital evidence?
Documenting your digital evidence can be helpful if you decide to report to police or pursue a complaints process with your post-secondary institution.
Digital evidence can be easily lost or destroyed. To prevent this, there are a number of things you can do to preserve digital evidence.
- Creating backup copies and storing securely on an external storage device (e.g. external hard drive, flash drive)
- Taking screenshots and emailing them to yourself
- Update your account passwords
When documenting digital evidence, include as much information as possible in the screen shots or print outs.
- If you are saving screenshots or print outs of emails, include the full header information from the original email so that the date, time, and IP address of the sender is included. Sometimes the full details of the email header are hidden, and you can access this information in the settings.
- For screenshots of text messages or phone call logs, show the phone number that made the calls or texts, not the contact name assigned to that number in your phone.
It is very important that you are not changing the digital evidence at all. Do not add or delete details. For example, if someone sends a threatening message that does not include their name, you cannot add their name to the message.Back to top
If you have been impacted by sexual violence, you are not alone and there is help available. It’s okay to reach out for support, whether through friends, a sexual assault crisis center, or a counselor or therapist.
Why is it important to get medical care soon after a sexual assault?
Even if you don’t seem to be physically injured, it is strongly encouraged to seek medical attention following a sexual assault. A medical practitioner can address concerns around:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Pregnancy and emergency contraception
- Other forms of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
You may want to have a forensic exam done to gather evidence for the purpose of a criminal investigation. You can still access medical care without involving the police.
You can have a support person of your choice such as a friend, family member, or Advocate accompany you throughout the medical care process.Back to top
What is a forensic exam?
A sexual assault forensic exam is an exam that has two purposes: to attend to any medical concerns the survivor may have following the assault, and to collect evidence for the purpose of a criminal investigation.
If possible avoid bathing, showering, brushing teeth, eating or drinking before a forensic exam. If you already have that is okay and you can still be examined.
In some communities you can have a forensic exam done and the evidence will be stored for up to one year to provide time to consider if you want to file a police report. This is called a Forensic Hold.Back to top
Where can I get a forensic exam?
SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)
820 Sherbrook Street
120 Easton Dr
524 5th St SE
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
Hwy 3 & Manitoba 14
24/7 telephone information service staffed by registered nurses to provide answers to healthcare questions and guide you to the care you need.
You can have a support person of your choice such as a friend, family member, or Advocate accompany you throughout the medical care process.
* Sexual assault Advocates can be requested to provide support at these health care facilities.
What are the resources on my campus?
Students frequently come to counselling to get help with personal/relational challenges, managing mental wellness, and to receive support through times of crisis. Our professional and registered counsellors have extensive experience and skills and they are here to support you. Compete the secure online intake form at https://hub.rrc.ca/Forms/Start/CounsellingRequest
The Students' Association can assist you in reporting your concerns to the Resource and Resolution Advisor so that you are aware of the options for moving a complaint forward and the available resources. The SA Executive are advocates for student issues and are knowledgeable on the supports and resources available to students on campus and in the local community, such as counselling services.
The Resident Assistants manage the residence community with a strong focus on health and safety concerns as well as responsible social interaction.
Staff at the Indigenous Student Support Centre can assist you in reporting your concerns to the Resource and Resolution Advisor so that you are aware of the options for moving a complaint forward and the available resources. The Centre offers cultural supports including Navigation Coaches who can assist in referring students to appropriate staff, departments or external agencies for any type of inquiry, as well as Elders-in-Residence, who offer one-on-one appointments.
Staff at the International Education Office can assist you in reporting your concerns to the Resource and Resolution Advisor so that you are aware of the options for moving a complaint forward and the available resources. The Office can provide referrals to counselling services and other supports.
If you are an RRC Employee, you and your dependents can access free and confidential counselling services through RRC Employee and Family Assistance Program.
What are the sexual assault services in my Community?
Provides support and advocacy for survivors of all genders at hospital, police and court settings. Individual counselling is available.
Culturally-based support and advocacy services for Indigenous women who have experienced sexual assault and sexual violence. Available to all who identify as Indigenous women and are over the age of 18.
The Sexual Assault Advocate acts as a support and resource for women who have been sexually assaulted. This can include accompaniment to police services, accompaniment to medical appointments, assistance with filing police reports, and referrals to Victim’s Compensation.
The SARAH program provides sexual assault crisis intervention services, hospital accompaniment and support, follow-up support, and referrals to regional service providers.
Therapy and support services for men age 16 years and older.
Victim Services helps people access their rights, understand their responsibilities and connects them to other services or agencies.
The MHRC will accept complaints of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. Anyone in Manitoba can contact the MHRC to get more information about their rights or to file a human rights complaint.
Third Party Reporting is a process where a survivor is able to pass on information about the sexual assault they experienced to the police without having to speak directly to the police or make a formal report. In this process the survivor completes a form with the support of an Advocate and this information is sent to police without the survivor’s identifying information. Police can use this information to track trends or patterns that could identify repeat offenders. It is important to know that police cannot lay charges based on a Third Party Report. A Third Party Report is not a substitute for providing a formal statement to the police. There are limits to confidentiality where the assault involves an intimate partner or child welfare concerns.
* Denotes Third Party Reporting sites
Other Third Party Reporting Locations
Community Health Centre offering counselling services, advocacy, and reproductive/sexual health care.
General counselling for adults, children and family in French language.
Third Party Reporting is available for male-identified survivors.
Who can I call if I am having thoughts of suicide or harming myself?
Are Anonymous Reports the same as a Third Party Report?
No. Anonymous Reports are provided to your post-secondary institution in summary form at various points in the year.
Third Party Reporting is a different process that is available in some provinces. Third Party Reporting allows a survivor to pass on information about the sexual assault they experienced to the police without having to speak directly to the police or make a formal report.Back to top
What are common reactions after experiencing sexual violence?
After experiencing sexual violence, you may notice changes in the way you feel about yourself, your body, and your perception of safety. Everyone’s experience is different, and there are no right or wrong ways to feel.
Some common reactions include:
- Feelings of shame, humiliation, and guilt
- Mood swings and anger
- Difficulty concentrating or a lack of motivation
- Feeling powerless
- Feelings of fear, feeling unsafe, difficulty trusting others
- Physical changes (e.g. eating and sleeping problems, anxiety, headaches)
- Feeling detached from your body
- Thoughts of harming yourself
Self-blame is a common reaction after sexual violence. You may find yourself thinking about “what could I have done to prevent this from happening?” It is important to remember that no matter the circumstances, what happened is not your fault. Anyone can be assaulted or harassed, and nobody ever deserves or invites sexual violence.Back to top
What are grounding techniques?
Grounding techniques are simple strategies to direct your focus to the sensations in your body or your surroundings in the present moment. This can be helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed by distressing thoughts or feelings, or if you feel disconnected or numb. Grounding techniques can be used when you are having a panic attack, flashback, unwanted memory, or dissociation. Even though grounding does not solve the problem that is causing you distress, it can help you gain control of your thoughts and feelings and prevent things from getting worse.
Grounding techniques are often simple but take practice to be most effective.
There are many different grounding techniques. Find what works best for you. Here are a few exercises you can try.
Bring your awareness to the present by engaging your 5 senses. Look around and name:
- 5 objects you can see
- 4 different sounds you can hear
- 3 textures you can feel
- 2 scents you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
Breathing exercises can help relax the body and the mind and bring a sense of calm. Box breathing (also called Square breathing) involves counting to steady and even out the breath.
- Inhale slowly for 4 counts
- Hold your breath for 4 counts
- Exhale slowly for 4 counts
- Hold your breath for 4 counts
- Repeat this process a few times, paying attention to your breath.
Use a phrase to anchor yourself in the present moment
Say out loud or silently to yourself.
For example, “I’m Full Name. I’m X years old. Today is Monday, April 6. It’s 9:23 in the morning. I am sitting at my desk.” Continue adding details to bring your attention to your current surroundings.
You can also try this with soothing phrases such as
- “I am safe right now.”
- “I am going through a hard time, but I will get through this.”
What is a self-care plan?
A self-care plan is a plan to attend to your physical and emotional needs and to help you cope during difficult times, such as after experiencing sexual violence.
Self-care is individual and everyone’s self-care looks different. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.
What follows is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to self-care, but some questions to help you get started thinking about how you look after yourself physically and emotionally.
Physical self-care involves activities that improve or maintain your physical health and support your overall wellbeing.
- Are you getting enough rest? Do you have a routine or sleep pattern that makes you feel more rested?
- What types of movement do you enjoy? Are there activities that make you feel more energized?
- Are you eating foods that make you feel nourished, satisfied, and energized? Are you drinking fluids to stay hydrated?
- Do you seek medical care when needed?
Emotional self-care involves being connected to your emotions and learning ways to cope when those emotions feel overwhelming or distressing. It also involves cultivating healthy relationships and feeling good about yourself. This may include:
- Taking time for yourself
- Spending time with people you feel supported by
- Allowing yourself to acknowledge and accept uncomfortable or painful emotions when they arise
- Spiritual practices such as meditation, self-reflection, or prayer
- Enjoying activities that are fun and rewarding to you
Part of taking care of yourself involves knowing when you need to reach out for help. There are people on your campus and in your community who are available to support you.Back to top
How can I help a friend who has experienced sexual violence?
Listen and believe them
Give them space to talk about their experience in their own way, in their own time. They may not want to talk about it with you at all, and that is okay too. Respect their decision.
Here are some things you can say to a friend who has experienced sexual assault:
- It’s not your fault.
- I’m sorry this happened.
- I believe you.
- How can I help you?
- I am glad you told me.
- I’ll support your choices.
- You’re not alone.
Encourage them to get medical attention
It is important to get medical attention after a sexual assault.
Connect them to resources or advocates
Become familiar with resources on your campus or in your community that you can suggest to your friend – but only if they are interested. You can ask your friend if they want to know about resources, and if not, don’t offer them. Remember to respect your friend’s choices.
Acknowledge your limits and take care of yourself
Even with the best of intentions, recognize that you can only do so much. You can be a support to your friend, and still encourage them to seek other supports as well. Also pay attention to the way supporting your friend is impacting your wellbeing. Take good care of yourself. Know that you can reach out for support for yourself as well. Many sexual assault crisis centres or crisis lines will provide support for secondary survivors (people impacted by the sexual assault of someone close to them).
- Asking questions that may feel blaming, such as questions that start with
why did youor
why didn’t youor pressing for details about the assault.
- Telling your friend what to do. Instead, help them explore their options and allow them to have control over their choices.
- Touching or hugging them unless you check first that they are comfortable with physical contact.
This content is adapted from the following sources:
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
McGill OSVRSE (Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education)
NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Centre)
What is RPI?
RPI is a function of REES that helps to identify a person that has perpetrated sexual violence against multiple people. You provide specific identifying information about the perpetrator that is stored in a database. If there is a match of identifying information provided by two survivors, the designated campus contact will be informed. They will follow up with each survivor separately to discuss further.Back to top
Can I use RPI anonymously?
No. You must provide your name and contact information so that your post-secondary institution can follow up with you.Back to top
Will I be notified if there is another entry in RPI?
If two people identify the same person and a match is made, the information will go to the designated campus contact. They will follow up with you directly for more information.Back to top
Is the perpetrator notified that their name was entered into RPI?
Once RPI has a match of two entries, the information is sent to your campus. They will determine how to move forward based on campus policy and safety of the campus community.
This may include contacting the perpetrator.Back to top
Why would I consider using RPI?
Often perpetrators of sexual violence have more than one victim and there is a pattern of behavior. Choosing to enter RPI information may assist your campus in identifying individuals that pose an increased risk to the campus community.Back to top
If I use RPI, are there limits to confidentiality or circumstances where my post-secondary institution will be required to proceed with an investigation against my wishes?
There may be circumstances that your post-secondary institution is required to proceed with an investigation or notify police without your consent. Review your sexual violence policy or contact your post-secondary institution for more information.Back to top
Can I use RPI without creating a Record?
Yes. You can use RPI on its own or with another form of reporting.Back to top
Can I delete my RPI entry?
Yes. Go to Settings and select Delete RPI Submissions. If you submit an RPI entry and it matches an existing entry in the database, REES will automatically transfer this information to the designated campus contact. This action cannot be reversed.Back to top