(Flickr)

Sexual assault policies take effect on B.C. campuses

Universities and colleges were required to implement a stand-alone policy by May 18

Sexual assault policies are now in effect at all universities in B.C., making it the second province in Canada to have a stand-alone protocol.

Universities across the province were required to have one implemented by May 18, as mandated by Bill 23.

The bill, initiated by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver passed last March. Since then, universities have been toiling on their new rules.

For Thompson Rivers University graduate Jean Strong, this week brings a sense of assurance that students who are sexual assaulted or harassed won’t be quieted.

“I hope the policies are effective in protecting students and giving them the help they need should anything happen to them,” she said.

“I also hope they give students a greater sense of safety while attending university or college, that the school should now have the means to support them well.”

Three years ago, Strong was sexually assaulted twice in the same semester. Upon reporting it to university staff, she says she was told she should transfer schools.

RELATED: B.C. universities’ sexual assault policies look to avoid past mistakes

“It was suggested I transfer to Queen’s or Carleton — any university that was not TRU,” the now-22-year-old wrote in a blog post a year ago.

She joined efforts with Weaver and together formed Bill 23, called the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act.

Moving forward, Strong said she hopes the conversation doesn’t end here. The universities need to ensure the policy isn’t just words in a handbook, but actually used to protect vulnerable students.

“I think people sharing their stories in a public way created real change across the province and having policies in place is a fantastic step,” she said. “But there is a lot more work to do to ensure safety and support, for example ensuring the policies are effective, implemented, changing as needed and are a part of a wider effort to change campus cultures and how people think about assault on campuses and elsewhere.”

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters grind out win over Vernon Vipers

Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson scored the game winner in a 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers

Tea, crafts, music and dance this weekend in Greater Trail

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21

Car accident prompts advisory from Greater Trail RCMP

Extrication by regional firefighters; driver and passenger walked away with minor injuries

Trail mayor announces task force to address crime

Coun. Sandy Santori was appointed to the Community Safety Task Force

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Extreme Education and Career Fair helps give back to the community

It’s estimated that there will be one million job vacancies in the next nine years in B.C.

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Most Read