B.C. to work on passing bill to require campus sex assault policies
Premier Christy Clark says her government will work with a member of the legislature to pass a law requiring post-secondary institutions to have sexual assault policies.
More than 21 thousand students attend classes at the University of Victoria.
But this campus, like every other post-secondary institution in B.C., does not have a law requiring it to have policies to prevent sexual violence.
Andrew Weaver, leader of B.C.’s Green Party introduced the Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Policies Act last week.
“To the Premier, does she support the need for sexual assault policy legislation for post-secondary institutions?”
But chances of a private member’s bill like this, getting anywhere in the legislature is rare.
The Premier stood up in the house to throw her support behind the bill.
“We have much more to do, and I welcome the member’s active interest in this.
I thank him for presenting his bill.
We will work with him on it on an urgent basis and try and get something passed with respect to changing policy as soon as we possibly can.”
In February, four UVic students, all between 19 and 20, came forward saying they were attacked on campus by a fellow student, known to all of them.
The male suspect is now facing five counts of sexual assault.
Also, police are still investigating the sexual assault of another female student
Staff at UVic’s Anti-Violence Project say most sexual assaults are unreported.
The university’s own statistics reflect that.
Five reported sexual assaults in 2015, and one for 2016.
The premier’s support of his bill is a welcome surprise to Weaver.
“What matter is that she has committed here to introduce this legislation.
I think people with all gender identities across the province are going to be thrilled to hear that, as I am.
And I think she deserves a lot of credit for standing up and saying she will support this.”
The premier did not give details on a timeline for passing the legislation.