December 15, 2017
For Immediate Release
Halifax, NS – Today, the Government of Nova Scotia released their report to address sexual violence on post-secondary campuses. The recommendations within the report highlight the need to change the culture on campuses and provide guidelines for institutions to take action to address sexual violence.
“The survivor centered, intersectional approach of this report challenges institutions to ensure policies and procedures provide necessary supports for students,” said Annie Sirois, Chair of StudentsNS. “We believe that these recommendations form a strong first step to changing campus culture and preventing sexual violence at post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia, and we are encouraged to take the first of many steps in addressing sexual violence on our campuses”.
StudentsNS was pleased to play a role in the creation of the report as a stakeholder of the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee. While the report is centered on the experience and perspective of survivors and marginalized groups, many of the recommendations are lacking needed accountability mechanisms to ensure that action is taken by post-secondary institutions. We urge the committee and involved institutions to collect data on the implementation of prevention programming, as well as broad data on reported disclosures to better inform our future efforts. We also recommend that students be actively involved through the remainder of this process, realizing that their lived experiences will best inform the creation of inclusive policy.
“It is vital that we now see these recommendations transformed into more than just words,” said Sam Nixon, StudentsNS Vice Chair. “It is the shared responsibility of students, government, and institutions to take meaningful action. It is the duty of government and institutions to implement these recommendations swiftly and consistently on campuses across the province.”
The report calls for each institution to develop a stand-alone policy for responding to incidents of sexual violence. It also places a large emphasis on the importance of education in changing the campus culture by challenging myths surrounding sexual violence and offering training on how to respond to incidents as a bystander.
StudentsNS looks forward to holding the government and institutions accountable for the implementation of these recommendations as it is our shared responsibility to end sexual violence on our campuses, in our communities, and in our society.
For more information, contact:
Tristan Bray, Executive Director