*SCW* Response to SGBV APSE Report
*SENSITIVE CONTENT WARNING*
Download the Press Release HERE
To the University of Lethbridge community
Yesterday’s release of results from the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Alberta Post-Secondary Education report highlights a look into the stark reality of sexual and gender-based violence that students face within post-secondary institutions. We at the ULSU are deeply concerned about what this report is telling us in regards to students safety on campuses.
Per the report, “Since attending their post-secondary institution half (50%) of all students have reported experiencing some form of sexual or gender-based violence.” Additionally, “Less than half (47%) of students believe there are supports available for students who have experienced sexual or gender-based violence, and of those only a small portion are accessing these services.”
Alberta post-secondaries are in the midst of a crisis of sexual and gender-based violence, this report highlights that our institutions are not equipped with the ability to mitigate this emergency situation on their own. With this knowledge, and public safety in mind, we call on the Government of Alberta to increase funding for our on campus resources by increasing staffing for our Gender-Based Violence Prevention Office for education and increasing awareness, as well as implementing funding for an on-campus sexual assault centre. Additionally, we are calling on the Ministry of Advanced Education to develop a working group, with student representatives present at the table, to review current policy and develop new policy recommendations informed by the findings of the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Alberta Post-Secondary Education report.
The ULSU stands with, and affirms, the experiences of all survivors of sexual or gender-based violence. A report was not needed for us to know that change was necessary, but with the data now available we are better equipped to ensure your voices are heard. The data from the report states that over 3,300 respondents who are students at comprehensive academic and research universities have experienced sexual or gender-based violence since starting their academic careers. Even one student experiencing this violence, is one too many, and together we can create a campus culture that values consent and supports student safety. The crisis of sexual and gender-based violence causes harm that extends beyond current students, and it is beyond time that we need to stand together to find solutions for the safety of all students.
Yours in solidarity,
Maleeka Thomas, President
Rachele Preston, Vice-President External
Yewoe Sackey-Forson, Vice-President Student Life
Brittany Allen, Vice-President Academic
Rikin Patel, Vice-President Operations and Finance