As with many solutions to modern day issues, we have concluded that one of the most important things is education and prevention. Programs need to be in place on every campus to reach as many students as possible. As well, we believe there should be a nation wide bill passed that pertains to the definition of sexual assault, how campuses should react, and what their policy should look like. Having a stand alone policy pertaining to sexual assault makes it more serious and makes the consequences seem more real. For more information and detail, please refer to "The Solutions" page on the tab above.
Last week Morgan, Rebecca and Abbey met with a member of the RCMP to discuss their take on sexual assault and sexual assault on campuses. The meeting was about 30 minutes and the officer informed of us of the role that the RCMP plays in sexual assaults on campuses. RCMP is involved when the campus or victim contacts them. They try their best to help the victim make a report and help catch the perpetrator. It's the belief that education is the most important thing for the RCMP and that it's needed to help prevent sexual assaults. The RCMP offers wide range of programs to help victims like counselling. We learned about the procedures and first steps the RCMP will take when a sexual assault is reported but the most important thing is the victim's health. This discussion with the RCMP was enlightening on the role the RCMP will take on sexual assaults and how they care most about the victim's health and safety.
Thank you RCMP for meeting with us!
Yesterday British Columbia became the next province to pass a bill pertaining to the sexual assault policies of universities in BC. "Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson has tabled a bill making it mandatory for post-secondary institutions to put policies in place to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, harassment and voyeurism" (Excerpt from the News 1130 article, link can be found below). This bill has come to be from the anger and outrage from the community after the assaults at The University of British Columbia were highly publicized, and scrutinized. The bill requires all Universities to have a separate policy pertaining to sexual assault. It is modeled after the bill passed in Ontario requiring schools to have a separate policy and they provided a structured model for the schools to follow.If all post-secondary institutions have a policy, it will make it easier for campuses to deal with sexual assault and create a safer and more respectful environment for the victims. Hopefully this bill brings recognition to the issues within University and College campuses within BC pertaining to sexual assault, and can help start to create a solution.
On our visit to the University of the Fraser Valley, we noticed some safety measures around the campus. Among these was five blue emergency poles located around the campus. If someone feels as though they are in danger they can press a button on the pole and they will be immediately connected to a campus security officer. As well, they entire interaction is video recorded so that the security officers can locate the person and have it for reference.
In the parking lot closest to Building B at UFV, there was a sign we noticed saying "For Women Drivers Only". We discovered that this was not enforced by security officers, however was just a parking 'suggestion' in place to make females feel more safer while driving at night.
We had our second meeting at Simon Fraser University with a member of their student services representatives and a member from their health services. The duration of this information filled meeting was 30 minutes. We learnt about their many programs in place for sexual assault victims and their ideas for prevention along with future plans. When a victim reports a sexual assault we learnt that it is the victims choice totally to which steps they wish to take (report to police or do nothing at all). Many victims just wish to tell their story to feel some relief and nothing further. SFU believes education is the key to prevention although it is difficult to prevent sexual assaults as whole. SFU educates all of their students and wants them to be comfortable coming forward for help. SFU wished to have a stand alone policy for sexual assault on university campus'.
Thank You for your time SFU!
One of the members of our group came across a video for a campaign called the "Unacceptable Acceptance Letters". This campaign is based out of the United States and was born after the advertising agency Goodbye Silverstein and Partners members saw the movie The Hunting Grounds. It shows many students receiving fake university acceptance letters stating the harsh reality of what could happen to them during their post secondary years. It also shows statistics from the US about how may men and women will be raped. The campaigns website is called "Don't Accept Rape" and provides education by vouching for colleges and university to treat survivors better, and have aftercare that is acceptable. They wish to "inspire students, parents and public to demand their colleges and universities to protect their students."
We had our first meeting/interview on April 19th 2016 with a member from student services at the University of Fraser Valley. The duration of our meeting was about 30 minutes. This individual was very helpful and answered all of our questions that we had prepared. They also elaborated on many of our questions which aloud us to learn more about sexual assault on university campuses. Our discussion led to probable solutions that would be effective to not only our province, but to our country.
Our group has decided to do our research project on Sexual Assault specifically focusing on university/collage campus incidents and statistics. We have started our research on this specific social issue because we feel the public needs to be educated on sexual assaults and be aware that they do happen to have the skills to prevent them. For this project we have to choose a specific social issue and go into depth on the causes and research. Ultimately, by the end we need to have solutions to this problem on how it can be solved. We have begun to set up interviews with various universities in the lower mainland such as University of the Fraser Valley and Simon Fraser University to gain a larger understanding of our topic and how sexual assaults are handled and different universities. Our meetings are set up for this week and we hope these will help further our knowledge and come to a conclusion for our criminology project.
Abbey F. Rebecca Y. Morgan M. Tiana O.
Abbey, Tiana, Rebecca and ,Morgan are grade 12 criminology students at Walnut Grove Secondary School.