WATCH: More than one-third of university students victims of sexual abuse
Despite efforts to curb sexual abuse in universities, the problem remains fairly common.
A survey of 9,000 students at six universities by a team led by Manon Bergeron, of the department of sexology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) found that 37 per cent had been the victims of some form of sexual abuse.
Of those, 25 per cent said it had occurred in the past year, while 42 per cent said they were the victims of repeated abuse.
The report featured testimonials from victims, 90 per cent of whom never filed official complaints with their university and 36 per cent never mentioned anything to anyone.
"He pushed me on the balcony and grabbed my hand and put it in his pants," Veronique Pronovost told CTV Montreal. Pronovost was a master's student at UQAM when a professor attacked her at a party.
She said it took her three years to report the attack, waiting until she had finished her degree for fear of retaliation.
Because of confidentiality rules Pronovost never found out what happened to the teacher who attacked her, but said he is still teaching at the school.
"At the end that made me question the process," she said.
Sandrine Ricci, a UQAM sociologist who also worked on the study said Pronovost's story is just one of many, and shows why schools should allow anonymous reporting of sexual abuse and need a legal framework to deal with these types of cases.
Quebec's minister of Higher Education, Helene David, said she will hold five days of consultations between now and March while she tours universities and CEGEPs. From there she said she will come up with a framework to deal with the issue by year's end.
"I want to hear as many people as possible to hear what are the best practices, here in Quebec but also across Canada and the United States," said David.