VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s an issue that hits close to home for the mother of a 14 and seven-year-old girl.
A BC cabinet minister is now gathering input on fairly new sexual violence policies at 25 post-secondary schools across the province.
Melanie Mark, who took over the Advanced Education portfolio in July, says she wants to know not only if the policies in place for less than a year are working, but if students, teachers and support staff are even aware of them.
“I’m glad people have the courage to come forward, but I don’t want their courage to fall on empty ears. I want accountability. I have two daughters. I hope that we don’t have these conversations their whole life about having to avoid sexual violence and misconduct. I hope that it’s no longer about ME TOO. I hope the hash tag is NOT ME.”
Mark also says she struggles with how to protect her own daughters from abuse.
“Bring this issue to the dinner table and say you have a right to not be sexually exploited. You have a right to not be sexually violated and to know that if you ever come forward to me, I will believe you and I will take action. There’s a cultural issue here, right, and that is, for some people, you don’t talk about sex –let alone sexual violence and misconduct.”
The deadline for submissions –which will be confidential– is January 29th.