The province is rolling out a new anti-sexual violence campaign for post-secondary schools, as classes are about to start.
The campaign, launched Tuesday, is aimed at male students and focuses on clear consent for any type of sexualized behaviour, emphasizing that sexual violence and misconduct “can never be part of student life.”
According to the advanced education ministry, one in five women will be the victim of sexual violence while attending post-secondary.
The government hopes launching the campaign before school starts will help them get ahead.
“We know that roughly two-thirds of sexual assaults on campus occur during the first eight weeks of school,” Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark said in a statement.
“Sexualized violence and misconduct … have life-changing consequences for everyone involved. Clear consent is always required.”
The campaign will include social media posts and information posted in local bars and student newspapers.
Provincial regulations require all 25 post-secondary institutions to have a sexual violence and misconduct policy.
A 28-page guide on developing such a policy notes that school officials should encourage a safe environment for victims to speak out and foster a culture of bystander intervention.
UBC was the first in the province to bring in a policy in 2017, after multiple allegations that it mishandled sexual harassment allegations.