Experiencing sexualized violence while pursuing a higher education is the devastating reality for too many students in Nova Scotia. Rape culture permeates campus communities resulting in misconceptions about consent, victim blaming, and disproportionate instances of sexual assault.
Universities and colleges are in a unique position to play a role in preventing sexualized violence, but thus far have consistently failed to protect their students. Instances such as the rape chants at St. Mary's University, the management of the Dalhousie Dentistry incidents and the lack of sexual assault policies demonstrate institutions' refusal to invest in promoting safer campuses. The provincial government has a role to play in challenging rape culture. Provincial legislation mandating on-campus sexual assault policies, funding for consent education and survivor support services exist in British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario.
Students are calling on Nova Scotians to support candidates that support the implementation of provincial legislation to prevent sexualized violence on campus and protect survivors.