New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network

A Proactive Approach to Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education

Original content by Meranda McLaughlin posted on the Academica Forum

We must take a proactive approach to preventing sexual violence in higher education

With a new school year underway, we are once again hearing about sexual violence on university and college campuses. The September news cycle included reports of sexual assault on the west and east coasts alike. It also documented institutional efforts to develop and implement stand-alone sexual assault policies (for instance: STU, uSask, uRegina). This has been a popular initiative in Canada and is certainly a worthwhile pursuit to help ensure cases are dealt with more effectively than they have been in the past.

But how much difference can a new policy truly make unless it is couched within a larger, proactive plan to improve the campus climate? In order for policies to effectively address and discourage sexual violence, members of the higher ed community need to know that such policies exist, they need to understand what constitutes sexual violence, and they need to know whom to seek out on campus if they experience such behaviour.

Read the rest here.

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