Ontario recently introduced legislation that, if passed, will help keep students in Thunder Bay safer from the threat of sexual violence and harassment.
Premier Kathleen Wynne met with student and community leaders at Lakehead University today to discuss how the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act. If passed, it would help deliver on the province’s commitments in It’s Never Okay, Ontario’s ground-breaking action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment.
“In Canada, one out of every three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said. This legislation would make campuses and communities safer and more responsive to the needs of survivors. It would require every publicly assisted college, university and private career college in Thunder Bay and across the province to have a stand-alone sexual violence policy and to review it — with student involvement — at least once every three years.
Other measures in the action plan will support the safety of students by:
- Ensuring every campus has a clearly stated protocol to address complaints of sexual violence; providing effective training and prevention programs for faculty, staff and students; and ensuring services and supports for survivors are available 24/7.
- Supporting initiatives to reduce sexual violence and ensure safe campuses through funding such as the Women’s Campus Safety Grant.
- Making sure that all students are provided with information about preventing sexual violence and are informed of the resources and supports available to them — starting with their first week of orientation and continuing throughout the year, for all years of study.
Supporting survivors of sexual violence and creating a safer, more inclusive and more equitable province is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up.