Victoria, B.C. - Today at the B.C. Legislature, Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay - Gordon Head and Leader of the B.C. Green Party, tabled the Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act, a bill that aims to address the pervasive occurrence of sexualized violence plaguing universities and colleges in British Columbia.
“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,” said Andrew Weaver. “It is unacceptable that we are not taking clearer steps as a Province to help create a safe environment for our students.”
Sexualized violence is an issue that impacts all genders and all ages. Being young and female, however, are the biggest risk factors for being sexually assaulted.
“The opportunity to succeed and thrive in university shouldn’t hinge on whether or not you are young, female and statistically likely to experience sexual violence,” said Weaver. “A staggering number of bright young women pursuing their academic ambitions are forced to deal with the threat of sexualized violence. It’s time for our government and universities to stand up and say enough is enough.”
Weaver brought forward the Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act to create a legal responsibility for universities and colleges in British Columbia to develop and maintain policies that would provide education for students, support for victims, and work to prevent the occurrences of sexual violence. The act would allow University specific policies to be developed that would meet the needs of students, including education and protection, while working to create a safe environment for students to come forward to report a sexual assault.
“The reality is that it is women who are most vulnerable at post-secondary institutions to being sexually assaulted or harassed, and that there simply isn’t the capacity for adequate prevention and support,” said Weaver. “While I chose International Women’s Day to table this bill, this is a societal issue and one that affects people of all gender identities. I hope our work will improve the safety of post-secondary experiences for everyone."
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
1 250 216 3382