My name is Jean Strong. I'm a fourth-year student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
In my first semester I was sexually assaulted — twice. And both times it was by people I considered friends.
After I was assaulted, I reached out for help from a campus counsellor. Instead of getting the support I needed, I was told I might be better suited to a different university.
The incidents left me hurt and confused. I never reported my assaults to the police because I was afraid they wouldn't take me seriously. If my school didn't take it seriously why would the police?
I didn’t feel safe on campus, my grades started to slip, and my social life was non-existent. It was so difficult for me to be in class with my attackers every day and live in a dorm where they partied every weekend.
Even today I get crippling anxiety in crowded places.
We need this legislation because our colleges and universities aren’t doing enough to make their campuses safe for students.
Thanks to Andrew Weaver’s work in the Legislature, the Premier has agreed to work on passing a bill to make sure BC’s post-secondary schools have good policies in place to educate students, prevent sexual violence, and provide support for survivors like me.
When he tabled the bill, Andrew met with me to get input. I am glad he is taking a stand for this issue. He and the BC Greens are taking it seriously, and thanks to him the government is listening to those of us who have spoken out.
I’m telling you all this because I’ve seen first hand what a group of people can do to create change for the better.
Last year I wrote an article about my experience. Others came forward with their own stories too, and Thompson Rivers University started work on a sexual assault policy.
With your help, we can make sure universities across the province do the same.
Please take a few seconds today to add your name: action.bcgreens.ca/enough-is-enough