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Montreal, September 27, 2017 — Three former female students of Concordia University who were victims of sexual harassment and other abuse from fellow students have filed civil rights complaints against the university. In failing to protect, support and accommodate these victims of sexual harassment, Concordia University has created or perpetuated systemic discrimination based on gender intersecting with disability, among other grounds.

The former students, “Cathy”, “Felicia” and “Maria” - all of whom are in their early 20s (and one of whom is an international student) - will speak out against the sexual harassment and assault they experienced on campus between 2014 and 2016, and the failure of Concordia to provide tangible protection, support and accommodation. The experience of sexual harassment and assault negatively impacted their academic performance, resulting in low grades, leading to their suspension or dropping out.

All three also experienced varying degrees of psychological injury, including anxiety attacks, depression and PTSD.

Two women were harassed by other male students at Concordia (one of whom was criminally charged and found guilty of assault). The third woman was subjected to harassment in the workplace by a male co-worker. When she spoke to her manager at the Campus Retail Stores about the harassment, her employment was terminated.

All three women have mandated CRARR to bring their cases to the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. Two complaints have already been filed against the University, one for sexual harassment in employment, and the other, for failure to provide protection, support and accommodation, resulting in further discrimination. The total claim against the university is more than $100,000 in damages.

The Quebec Administrative Tribunal will hold conciliation in the case of the fired student-employee on September 28. CRARR is also claiming $20,000 on behalf of the former student-employee from her former manager and her harassing co-worker personally. The case, which also raises issues of systemic discrimination, is now under investigation by the Human Rights commission.

The third woman is soon taking her harasser to the Commission, and is also considering a complaint against the University for failure to protect and support.

These women will also be speaking about their experiences on social media, as conventional news media, including local university media, have not shown any interest in their plight.

CRARR presently represents other students and former students or employees in four other civil rights complaints filed against different agencies associated with the university, including the highly publicized case of Mei-Ling - a Eurasian student executive who was exposed to racist and sexist treatments by other executive members of a student association. Three of these complaints, which involve discrimination based on race and gender, among other grounds, are under investigation by the Quebec Human Rights Commission. The fourth case, of gender discrimination in employment, is in adjudication under a federal agency.