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BC introduces law to require universities to have sexual misconduct policies

Last Updated Apr 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm PDT

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VICTORIA – British Columbia is the latest province to introduce legislation requiring universities to have sexual misconduct policies in the wake of allegations that schools are failing survivors of campus violence.

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson has tabled a bill making it mandatory for post-secondary institutions to put policies in place to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, harassment and voyeurism.

The Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act would also compel universities to report these incidents on a regular basis and review their policies at least once every three years.

The law is based on a private-members bill introduced by Green party Leader Andrew Weaver, who modeled it after recently-adopted Ontario legislation.

Wilkinson says the legislation would come into effect one year after royal assent, giving institutions time to establish and implement policies.

The University of British Columbia is facing a human-rights complaint over its handling of sexual assault reports, while a University of Victoria student has said she felt “invalidated and silenced” by the school’s response to her alleged attack.