Student unions to review policies on sexual assault prevention

Jacob Boon
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Saint Mary's University is one of serveral schools across the province participating in the project. (Metro Halifax)

Sexual assault prevention will be just one of the topics under review in a new provincial project aimed to make life safer for university students.

Student unions across the province will participate in the reviews, which will examine policies and practices involving alcohol and sexual assault prevention. Consultant Anne Martell will undertake the project, visiting campuses across Nova Scotia and conferring with various student leaders.

“We’re very excited to pursue these important initiatives to improve our practices and protect our students”, StudentsNS chair Jared Perry in a release. “Together, students and the province are working to turn the tide on sexual assault and alcohol abuse among students.”

Nova Scotia has the highest rates of sexual assault in Canada. Sixty-two per cent of university women in Canada say they have been sexually assaulted.

The percentage of Nova Scotia students who drink heavily at least once per month [51 per cent] is also significantly higher than the national average [32 per cent] and double the rate of the general population.

The sexual assault prevention steering committee will also develop a communications campaign to spread awareness of sexual assault and encourage bystander intervention.

“This is something that we talk about quite often,” Perry says, adding the reviews will create more awareness for students and the student organizations involved.

“We want to educate ourselves…and from that review, we’ll be able to take things in the right direction, so that will be sustainable in the future and hopefully have a very big impact.”

The total value of the initiatives is $46,156. Contributions of $31,291 come from the province, while $13,465 is from student unions and $1,400 from Cape Breton University.

A portion of the project's funding is allocated for the implementation of the review’s recommendations, though Perry says it will be up to the steering committee to determine how large of a portion.  

University student unions participating in the reviews include Acadia, Cape Breton University, Mount Saint Vincent, St. Francis Xavier and Saint Mary’s.

Dalhousie University will join the other unions in implementing the sexual assault prevention campaign.


Organizations: Anne Martell, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada, Saint Mary

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Recent comments

  • ant
    September 05, 2013 - 12:06

    As reported in todays paper, and recently affirmed by Canadian students... We like them YOUNG! Y is for your sister. O is for oh so tight. U is for underage. N is for no consent. G is for grab that ass.

  • No way I'm giving my Name
    August 31, 2013 - 23:38

    This 2/3 statistic trips my internal BS-o-meter. This sounds way too high to actually be true. I'd like to examine the methods used and the data collected. Did the women themselves say "I was sexually assaulted?" Or did the researchers decide what constituted sexual assault? Was the definition overly broad? Where was that study published? In a peer-reviewed journal of science? Or in Ms. Magazine? When I see studies with shocking statistics like 1/3 or 1/4 or now 2/3, they are usually the result of advocacy research, published in radical feminist circles, and it is usually the case that the researchers decide who was raped and who wasn't. When it gets picked up by the news, there's no opportunity for the opposition to refute the argument.

  • Anne
    August 30, 2013 - 07:01

    "Nova Scotia has the highest rates of sexual assault in Canada. Sixty-two per cent of university women in Canada say they have been sexually assaulted." Ms.-Information is bad for everyone and should not be tolerated. Ideologues and so-called "advocates" never explain their propaganda statistics. How do they defiine "sexual assault"? "Whom did they advocacy researcher´s ask?" If they used linguistic inflation to define-down the term sexual assault, then what percentage of men also fall in into the category of "victim"?" When will the media every do it´s job and double-check statistics, particularly from advocacy groups with a known track-record of misleading the public?

  • anon
    August 29, 2013 - 11:35

    If the one-in-four statistic is correct—it is sometimes modified to “one-in-five to one-in-four”—campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic.

  • Anon
    August 29, 2013 - 11:33

    So, a lack of personal responsibility leads to a lot of regret sex and now we have gone from the bogus stat of 1 in 4 to 2 out of 3? Me thinks that the definition of sexual assault is so broad and all encompassing, you can literally rape with your eyes now.