Quebec's Education Ministry has launched a new toll-free hotline to report sexual and other violence in school settings. The hotline, 1-833-DENONCE, is currently operating alongside an existing email, email@example.com, but offers slightly more anonymity.
The goal of the hotline is to ensure that instances of sexual and other violence are followed up with investigation and care for those impacted. It will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, with a voicemail available at all hours (staff will return calls during operating hours).
This initiative follows the announcement of a general inquiry into sexual and other violence in school settings launched by Education Minister Bernard Drainville on March 21, 2023.
"I am concerned about the increase in violence in the education system," Drainville said in a press release, adding that "students who have been victims of violence in our schools must be able to report these situations confidentially and safely."
"With this new hotline, we are providing them with an additional support resource."
The hotline is not intended to replace police investigations or reduce their number, but instead serves as a way to keep track of violence in school settings and provide support to those experiencing it.
The minister's office encouraged "anyone who has experienced or witnessed a criminal act in a school environment to report the situation directly to the police," and emphasized that the hotline's staff, and other Ministry of Education teams, will refer callers to the best resources to support them given their unique situation.