September 19, 2023

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Alberta Post-secondary Education

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The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) recently put out a press release regarding the Sexual and Gender-Based violence in Alberta Post-secondary education report. This report has brought to light about the harsh realities of sexual and gender-based violence within our post-secondary institutions. 

CAUS alongside the GSA, and other stakeholder groups are deeply invested in the welfare of our students and are concerned about the findings of this report. This report serves as a reminder that ensuring the safety of our students is an urgent priority. Here are some of the highlights of the press release: 

Alarming Statistics:  

The report’s findings are deeply unsettling. Since attending their post-secondary institution, a staggering 50% of all students have reported experiencing some form of sexual or gender-based violence. Among this 50%, the numbers are even more disheartening, with 14% of the women experiencing sexual assault and 11% of the women facing intimate partner violence. 

Equally troubling is the fact that less than half (47%) of students believe there are adequate support systems available for those who have experienced sexual or gender-based violence. Of those who are aware of these services, only a fraction are accessing them. This glaring gap in the support network highlights the urgent need for comprehensive solutions. 

A Call to Action: 

The report’s findings lay bare a crisis of sexual and gender-based violence within Alberta’s post-secondary institutions, one that institutions alone cannot resolve. With public safety at the forefront of the current Government of Alberta’s agenda, CAUS, representing over 100,000 students, calls upon the government to allocate increased funding for critical services such as consent training and on-campus sexual assault centers. 

Furthermore, CAUS is urging the Ministry of Advanced Education to establish a working group that includes student representatives. This group should undertake a thorough review of the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Alberta Post-Secondary Education report and collaborate to create policy recommendations for swift implementation. 

One is Too Many: 

While half of survey respondents experiencing sexual and gender-based violence during their post-secondary journey is an alarming statistic, it is vital to remember that even a single student enduring such violence is one too many. The profound and far-reaching consequences of this crisis impact not just survivors but the entire educational community. 

Standing in Solidarity: 

CAUS stands united with all survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Your experiences didn’t need a report to validate them, but now that we have this data, we are better equipped to advocate for you and ensure your voices are heard. Every student deserves to attend an educational institution free from fear and violence. 

In conclusion, the release of the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Alberta Post-Secondary Education report is a pivotal moment for our educational community. It is a call to action, a reminder of our collective responsibility to protect and support our students. Together, we can work towards creating a safer and more inclusive environment within Alberta’s post-secondary education system. 

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