FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will convene a roundtable to address sexual violence on campuses starting in the new year.

The roundtable will be facilitated by Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace, who is also the minister responsible for women’s equality, and by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder.

“What has occurred and what is happening to students subjected to sexual violence on campuses across the province is unacceptable. While no one should be subjected to violence, we know that this is a gendered issue which impacts women and gender minorities disproportionately,” said Scott-Wallace. “Students should expect to be safe when they make a decision to attend college or university, and if something does go wrong, they need to know the proper institutional support will be in place.”

The roundtable will provide an opportunity to hear the voices of survivors of campus sexual violence and to identify prevention and intervention actions to address sexual violence at these institutions. It is intended to encourage meaningful change for survivors and help reduce sexual violence in communities.

“Our government is committed to ensuring post-secondary institutions are safe and free of sexual violence,” said Holder. “Taking action on this issue is critical to establishing positive learning environments and educational outcomes.”

Members of the roundtable will include representatives from publicly funded post-secondary institutions, student associations, the government, service providers and survivors.

“Mount Allison welcomes this important initiative by the province. We know that sexual violence has been and continues to be an issue on campuses and in communities across New Brunswick,” says Anne Comfort, acting vice-president, International and Student Affairs. “A provincial roundtable will complement the efforts of all post-secondary institutions to help develop effective awareness and educational programming on prevention as well as survivor support strategies.”

The public report of actions and recommendations from the roundtable will be completed in the spring of 2021.

“No sexual violence should be tolerated on our campuses,” said Denis Prud’homme, president and vice-chancellor of the Université de Moncton. “This roundtable is a excellent initiative that will greatly benefit students in the province. We are ready to participate and share our experiences and advice.”

Resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online. The province's universities and community colleges also have resources available on campus to support students. Contact your student services office to get more information.