UVic students plan walkout as part of national call for action on gender-based violence
Students at the University of Victoria are staging a classroom walkout Monday as part of a national call for action on gender-based violence.
UVic students are calling on the province to provide $5 million over the next three years to support violence prevention and response efforts. The students are also asking for a review of B.C.'s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act, saying the legislation needs to include more consultation with survivors of violence and minimum standards of care and accountability for institutions.
"Gender-based and sexualized violence are often said to have no place on our campuses, but this is far from the reality on the ground where these issues continue to be pervasive,” said UVic student and walkout organizer Anna-Elaine Rempel in a statement Monday.
"What students are asking for is that government actions actually reflect this rhetoric," Rempel added.
The walkout is scheduled from 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is part of a nationwide initiative organized by Students for Consent Culture Canada and the Safe Campus Coalition.
NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR MONTREAL MASSACRE
The event coincides with Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The date commemorates the Dec. 6, 1989, massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal, in which 14 women were murdered.
“To this day, many people still remember the moment they heard about the nightmare unfolding at École Polytechnique," said B.C. Premier John Horgan and Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity Grace Lore in a joint statement Monday.
"The pain and memories remain, as do the dangers of sexist attitudes, beliefs and prejudice, which all too often have life-threatening consequences," Horgan and Lore added.
The pair said the province is working on an "action plan to help end gender-based violence in B.C."
"This plan will recognize the connections with other key government action, including new standards for services, better training for people working in the justice system and more stable, secure funding for sexual assault centres," they said.
The UVic walkout is supported by the University of Victoria Students’ Society, the Gender Empowerment Centre and the Anti-Violence Project.