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Province Introduces Stronger Sexual Violence Legislation to Keep Students Safe on Manitoba Campuses

by pmnationtalk on October 13, 2016821 Views

October 12, 2016

New, More Comprehensive Bill Addresses Social Media, Consent and Needs of Students: Ministers

Proposed changes introduced today to the Advanced Education Administration Act and the Private Vocational Institutions Act would require all universities, colleges, the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, degree-granting institutions and private vocational institutions to have appropriate policies and procedures in place to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart said today.

The proposed bill, introduced today by Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, on behalf of Wishart, would also set new requirements for institutions to raise awareness and communicate the availability of services and supports on the campus community and publicly report on activities under the policy.

“As we have seen in recent years, the issue of sexual violence in post-secondary education is a challenge faced by institutions across Canada,” said Wishart.  “This bill would ensure that all Manitoba post-secondary institutions have appropriate policies and procedures in place to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus so all students can pursue their education in a safe environment.”

Squires noted the bill would also include a definition of sexual violence and extends its scope to harassment via social media.

“It is clear that we need to address the emerging issue of sexual violence via social media to ensure the safety of all students,” said Squires.  “The inclusion of social media within the scope of the policies to be created and enforced by post-secondary institutions is incredibly important given the growing incidence of online harassment.”

Under the proposed new bill, all post-secondary institutions would be required to develop and adopt an appropriate sexual violence policy including both public and private institutions.  This would ensure that wherever students choose to study in Manitoba, they will be protected by a policy that prevents and responds to sexual violence, Squires said.

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