A report released provides 10 recommendations to help prevent sexual violence on Nova Scotia university campuses.
The report, Changing the Culture of Acceptance, was developed by the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee.
“Sexual violence is not, and never has been acceptable on university campuses,” said Dianne Taylor-Gearing, co-chair of the committee, and president of NSCAD in Halifax and chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents.
“We are all responsible for changing the culture in which sexual violence exists. These recommendations provide a clear path forward. I am encouraged steps have already been taken and that Nova Scotia is leading the way by working in collaboration to make a significant difference on university campuses.”
The committee was established as an outcome of the 2015-19 memorandum of understanding between the government and Nova Scotia universities.
Committee members included representatives from government, universities, student groups and community agencies working in the area of sexual violence prevention and response.
“Government stands with students and post-secondary institutions in our shared commitment to help prevent sexual violence from happening, and to support victims when it does happen, so that students and staff can feel safe on any one of our campuses,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “I appreciate the committee’s thoughtful work and specifically its concrete and achievable recommendations that are already starting to be implemented across the province.”
The committee’s recommendations aim to shift the culture in which sexual violence exists, and to support universities in advancing efforts to help prevent sexual violence on campus.
Some of the recommendations include:
— the delivery of consent education
— training for the campus community on responding to sexual violence disclosures
— the development and delivery of anti-oppression education for leaders on campus
— the establishment of sexual violence prevention advisory committees
— the development of a Nova Scotia specific bystander education program
“The survivor-centred, intersectional approach of this report challenges institutions to ensure policies and procedures provide necessary supports for students,” said Annie Sirois, chair of StudentsNS. “These recommendations are a strong first step to changing campus culture and preventing sexual violence at post-secondary institutions.”
The report can be found at http://novascotia.ca/lae/pubs
For a list of services for victims of sexual violence, visit http://novascotia.ca/coms/svs/ .