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Hands off: Transit Police launch new initiative to end sex assault, harassment on SkyTrains

(Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You may notice some new posters along the SkyTrain system, telling you to “keep your hands to yourself”.

A new poster campaign is designed to talk directly to offenders and is just one step Transit Police are taking to end sexual assault and harassment on transit systems.

Transit Police Chief Doug LePard says this campaign is aimed to protect some of the systems most vulnerable users.

“Women are given enough responsibilities by asking them to be constantly aware and on guard and take the initiative to report suspects and offenses,” says Lepard.

Other resources LePard highlights include a number to text Police directly, cameras on and around Skytrain lines, and Neighbourhood Police Offices located at six different stations, including Waterfront.

Angela Marie MacDougall with the Battered Women’s Support Service says protecting women who use transit is imperative.

“It matters very much that ever single woman and girl in Metro Vancouver feels safe on public transportation — that she can go to work, that she can go to school, that she can live her life free without the fear of sexual harassment or sexual assault on public transportation.”

According to the Battered Women’s Support System, 50 per cent of transit users are women and girls.