By Jessica Robinson, Editor-in-Chief
Women across the country have come together as part of a national campaign to change the culture around sexual violence on university and college campuses.
“Between the campaign team, we have ten children. We want to make university and college campuses safer for them than they were for us,” said Kathryn Marshall, founder of #SayKnowMore.
Sexual violence on campus has reached an epidemic level. North American research suggests that 15 to 25 per cent of post-secondary-aged women will experience sexual assault in their academic career.
At Canadian universities, four out of five female undergraduate students surveyed reported experiencing dating violence and, of that number, 29 per cent reported experiencing sexual assault.
#SayKnowMore is a national campaign, which launched April 26, 2016. The goal of the campaign is to engage with students to teach them about sexual violence and consent as well as encourage universities and colleges to implement and comply with transparent stand-alone sexual violence and harassment policies and procedures. #SayKnowMore also hopes to engage with administrators to talk about this growing problem.
“Too often, schools do not have policies guiding them when an incident of sexual violence is reported and what ends up happening is the incident is swept under the rug,” said Marshall.
As a first step, the campaign team is asking the public to sign a pledge to end sexual assault and harassment on campus.
Over the coming months, #SayKnowMore will bring sexual violence experts together, help educate students about what the can do to prevent or stop sexual assault and invest in research that will give Canadians more insight into the extent of this problem on post-secondary campuses.
This campaign is directly in line with the sexual violence policy being developed at Laurentian University.
Supporters can take a pledge to #SayKnowMore to sexual violence by visiting http://sayknowmore.nationbuilder.com
Laurentian students, faculty, and alumni have already started taking the pledge.
To find out more about the #SayKnowMore campaign, check out their social media: