Green Party leader Andrew Weaver introduces bill to compel post-secondary institutions to report sexual assaults.
Just last month, a UVic student sexually assaulted four female students.
He’s now facing five sexual assault charges.
Staff working with survivors of sexual assault on campus say the problem is widespread.
Weaver introduced his bill for first reading in the legislature.
“Thank you Honorable Speaker. I move introduction of a bill, Post-secondary sexual violence policies act, 2016.”
The bill is aimed at forcing universities and colleges to develop sexual assault policies.
And report to the Minister of Advanced Education any and all sexual assaults.
“We cannot rely on the universities. It’s not only universities, its colleges, post-secondary institutions of all forms, to come up with policies themselves, to ensure that the data is exposed publicly. Because it will not happen.”
Last month, four female UVic students, all between 19 and 20, came forward saying they were attacked on campus by a fellow student, known to all of them.
But university staff say that is just the tip of the iceberg of unreported sexual assaults.
“This year we have 50 survivors that we have supported. Starting from September 2015 to current. Yesterday was our last survivor.”
“Fifty that you would classify as sexually assaulted? “Yes.”
At the UVic Student Society centre, staff say sexual assault is commonplace on campus.
“I know several people who have been sexually assaulted. I know folks who have been assaulted in residence. Folks who have been assaulted off campus. The statistics that we know are one in five. ”
At the sexual assault centre on campus, staff welcome a policy compelling the university to report sexual assaults.
But are not optimistic change will come to UVic anytime soon.
“They have a website where their stats indicate zero, like last year, for sexual assaults. And I can tell you specifically that that is not the reality.”
“This has to stop, and this will only stop if we get information out there in the open for all to see.”
Weaver’s bill would ensure students also have a voice in developing policies regarding sexual assaults on campus.