Under the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act, postsecondary institutions in B.C.will have a year to establish policies on sexual misconduct that will include sexual assault, harassment and voyeurism.The law will require universities to consult students on their policies and to review them once every three years.
The B.C.law is based on a private member’s bill introduced by B.C.Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and is expected to be similar to Ontario legislation.If B.C.’s legislation passes, it will become the second province in Canada to mandate campus sexual assault policies by law.
“The thing about rape and sexual violence is that silence is the best friend of any rapist, and shame is their second-best friend,” Premier Christy Clark said in support of the bill.
The bill contains a broad definition of sexual violence that includes nonconsensual distribution of sexually explicit photos and videos, as well as the threat of sexual misconduct.
“We should be outraged about the numbers of sexual assault and sexual violence that happens on campuses, not just here but all across the country, and we have to do something about it,” Clark said.