Sunday, December 19, 2010

Official statement on news of a sexual assault on Carleton University's campus

The Coalition for a Carleton Sexual Assault Centre is appalled at the reporting of a sexual assault occurring on Carleton’s campus in 2009 by a reservist.

On December 13, 2010 the Ottawa Citizen reported that Patrick Humphreys sexually assaulted a womyn in the summer of 2009. Citing "six beers and one shot" as his reasoning, Humphreys’ followed up his assault with apologetic text messages saying that he hoped that his victim would not be upset with him.

As the only group on campus dedicated to sexual assault, the Coalition is appalled at the Citizen’s reporting of this case, where they give credence to Humphreys’ disturbing excuses and go so far as to refer to the assault as "kissing and intrusive sexual touching." Humphreys is being charged with sexual assault – why not call it what it is?

Furthermore, the Coalition is disgusted by Ontario Court Justice Heather Perkins-McVey's comments, where she states that Humphreys is not a "sexual deviant" and that his assault is "every man’s worst nightmare." For a judge to take such a biased approach to a very serious crime is appalling and deplorable.

The Coalition for a Carleton Sexual Assault Centre has been lobbying Carleton University since 2007 for the creation of a sexual assault centre on campus. Since this has not happened, Carleton is unable to offer the survivor of this assault a safe space for support.

As a group of dedicated volunteers and anti-violence activists, we call this incident what it is: a sexual assault by a person in power. For a judge to write it off as bad judgement and for the media to treat is as such is an indication of how pervasive rape culture really is.

We condemn Patrick Humphreys, the Ottawa Citizen, Ontario Court Justice Heather Perskins-McVey and Carleton University. We stand in solidarity with the survivor of this assault and we hope that she is supported in her healing.

If you are looking for support, the Coalition created an independent, survivor driven sexual assault support line in March 2010. The line is open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week and offers free, confidential peer support. The support line number is 613-620-1030.

For more information, please contact us at

Coalition for a Carleton Sexual Assault Centre
Support Line: 613-620-1030

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