Today in the legislature I introduced Bill M205: Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act. This bill, based on similar legislation in Ontario, aims to address the pervasive occurrence of sexualized violence plaguing universities, colleges and other post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. It creates a legal responsibility for them to develop and maintain policies that would work to prevent the occurrences of sexual violence and provide support for victims. The act would allow university- and college-specific policies to be developed that would meet the needs of students, including education and protection, while working to create a safe environment for all students to come forward to report a sexual assault.
The preponderance of sexualized violence on the campuses of post-secondary institutions affects all of us. It’s time for our government to stand up and say that enough is enough. With your support and collective voice we will be able to improve the safety of post-secondary experiences for everyone.
Below is the text and video of my introduction of the bill. If needed, the contact information for sexual assault support and crisis centers throughout British Columbia are also listed below.
BILL M205 — POST-SECONDARY SEXUAL
VIOLENCE POLICIES ACT, 2016
A. Weaver: I move introduction of a bill intituled Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act, 2016.
A. Weaver: It is estimated that one in four female university students will be sexually assaulted during the relatively short amount of time they spend on campus.
If that number seems startling, then keep in mind that when the University of Ottawa recently did a student survey on the issue, 44 percent of female students experienced some form of sexual violence or unwanted sexual touching. Within our province, we’ve heard of numerous assaults that have taken place over the last few weeks, with a variety of different responses.
It is with this in mind that I introduce the Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act. This bill requires colleges and universities to have sexual violence policies that set out the process that will apply when incidents and complaints of sexual violence are reported. It is critical that we establish a legal requirement for our post-secondary institutions to have sexual violence policies that educate, protect and support our students. This legislation would actively involve students in the development of these policies and ensure that universities are adequately reporting and responding to incidences of sexual assault.
I move that this bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
Bill M205, Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act, 2016, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
Video of my introduction of the bill in the legislature today.
Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
3060 Cedar Hill Road #201
Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Center
235 First Avenue #601
Women Against Violence Against Women
Vancouver, BC V6J 5C2
B C Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
3126 W Broadway
Prince George Sexual Assault Centre
5130N Nechako Rd.
Prince George, 193 Quebec St