April 28, 2016

For Immediate Release
April 28th, 2016

Halifax, N.S. – StudentsNS is calling on the government to support the passage of Bill 164 put forward by the Progressive Conservatives. The bill introduced this week is similar to the New Democratic Party’s Bill 114, but addresses the previous concerns StudentsNS had. Bill 164 calls for the necessary action surrounding sexualized violence prevention.

“We must have legislation in place that will keep our campuses safe in Nova Scotia. We believe that Bill 164 calls for appropriate action. If this government is not willing to pass this Bill, they must be willing to draft their own legislation this session,” said Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS. “We can not go any longer without legislation to support survivors and appropriately deal with their perpetrators.”

StudentsNS has chosen to support this legislation after significant internal conversations surrounding reporting practices. StudentsNS strongly believes that immediate public reporting on small campuses could lead to re-victimization of sexual assault survivors. Bill 164 supports the survivors of sexual violence and provides a framework for reporting that will not lead to re-victimization.

Nova Scotia is now lagging behind the trend in Canada to put legislation in place to keep our campuses safe. British Columbia was the most recent to introduce legislation, following the lead of Ontario and other provinces. Nova Scotia must act now.

“The government has a moral duty to protect students on all campuses in Nova Scotia. Legislation will provide the ability to hold our institutions accountable and keep our students safe,” said Nick Head-Petersen, Executive Director of StudentsNS. “Bill 164 is survivor-centered and legislates what is necessary to support survivors, a committee that values the student voice, and a reporting structure to prevent further sexual violence.”

Find Bill 164 here.

Find the report StudentsNS’s commissioned in 2014 on sexual violence prevention here.

For more information, please contact:

Nick Head-Petersen, Executive Director
Phone: 902 293 7232
Email: [email protected]

Or

Fallis Thompson, Chair of StudentsNS
Phone: 902 585 2127
Email: [email protected]

Students Nova Scotia is a not-for-profit and non-partisan advocacy and research group that represents post-secondary students from across Nova Scotia. Our members include Acadia, Cape Breton, Saint Mary’s, and St. Francis Xavier Universities, the Kingstec and Annapolis Valley Campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College, and the Atlantic School of Theology.