“May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month and I want to draw particular attention to sexual violence that can often occur on our post-secondary campuses.
“One in five women attending university or college will experience sexual violence. Most often, it’s by someone she knows – and also most often, she does not report what happened. Many survivors are left feeling isolated, ashamed or that they are to blame. Although it happens less often, men, too, are victims of these crimes. Campus sexual violence is not only physically and emotionally scarring, it steals from students. It robs them of safe places to learn, and it deprives them of the confidence they need to further their academic career.
“All 26 of our public post-secondary institutions have developed policies to combat sexual violence on their campuses, and we continue to work closely with student leaders to help raise awareness of the impacts of sexual violence and explore new ways to combat it on our campuses. Working together, we must call out these crimes and ensure a safe and supportive environment for all. My government colleagues and I stand behind all those working to end campus sexual violence.
“Survivors, I want you to know that we believe you and acknowledge you. Thank you to all of the student leaders who have dedicated themselves to raising awareness of this issue, and to all post-secondary staff who work to protect and care for students. Together, let us continue to make our campuses safer, more compassionate and more responsive.
“I want to give particular acknowledgement and appreciation to Garrett Koehler from the SAIT Students’ Association and Shayla Breen from the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University for their work in this area.
“More can be done and will be done to combat sexual violence on campus.”