March 21, 2017

CANADA’S STUDENTS PLEASED TO SEE STUDENT RECOMMENDATIONS IN STATUS OF WOMEN REPORT ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

OTTAWA—Students are pleased to see their recommendations reflected in the Standing Committee on the Status of Women report Taking Action to End Violence Against Young Women and Girls in Canada released Monday. With the release of this report, students will focus energy on ensuring these recommendations are acted upon without delay.

“The release of this report is an important step towards action addressing gender-based violence on campuses and in communities across Canada,” said Bilan Arte, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “The government now needs to move quickly to act on these recommendations, first by ensuring the necessary financial resources are available and second by empowering front line community and campus groups to lead the way.”

The report is based on testimony and written submissions provided by stakeholder witnesses, including the Canadian Federation of Students. It contains 45 recommendations to the federal government, including several recommendations called for by the Federation.

Recommendations include:

  • Urging all jurisdictions to discuss mechanisms, including legislation, by which Canadian postsecondary institutions could be required to implement stand-alone sexual assault policies
  • Providing sexual violence intervention and sensitivity training for all students and staff during orientation times
  • Urging all jurisdictions to discuss mechanisms by which the provinces and territories could require all university and college administrations to establish sexual assault centres on campus, with free counselling services
  • Developing and investing in a nation-wide public awareness campaign to educate the public about consent, healthy sexuality, and bystander intervention
  • Allocating additional funding to research and data collection that focuses on intersectional violence against young women and girls in Canada
  • Working with front-line services and community organizations to help them ensure that their services and programs are accessible to all Canadians

For over 30 years the Canadian Federation of Students has campaigned to end gender and sexual-based violence. Most recently it has focused efforts on campus education and policy development and on the development of provincial and federal legislation. In the past year students have successfully secured legislation requiring universities and colleges to develop sexual violence policies in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.

“We know that the prevalence of sexual violence continues to be a significant barrier to accessing and succeeding in college and university for far too many people,” said Arte “Students will continue to organize to win legislative change in every province and to ensure campuses have the tools and resources they need to appropriately address sexual and gender based violence.

The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country. Since 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students has worked with students from across Canada to build a culture of consent on campus and develop best practices to respond to instances of sexual and gender-based violence.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Emily Niles at e.niles@cfs-fcee.ca.