Monday, May 29, 2023

Sexual Violence in School | QS reintroduces the bill with the support of PQ and PLQ

Three opposition parties are uniting to “put pressure” on Education Minister Bernard Drainville by demanding the adoption by June of a framework law to fight against sexual violence at school. A bill will be introduced again on Thursday, this time by Solidarity MP Ruba Ghazal.

“This is an important topic that must be dealt with in a cross-partisan manner. […] We want to send a clear message to the minister: a framework law is needed to fight against sexual harassment in our schools. It’s urgent,” Sunday M.Me Ghazal, during a press conference in Montreal, along with the collective The Voice of Youth People Count, which has been calling for the adoption of such legislation for more than five years.

In 2017, Hélène David, who was the minister responsible for the status of women in Philippe Couillard’s Liberal government, passed a law to tackle sexual violence in CEGEP and universities. Since then, all these establishments should have a policy on the matter, support offices and various support mechanisms.

For meMe Ghazal, “It is not normal that primary and secondary schools do not have the same type of legislation to protect young minors, especially when we know that more than half of sexual assault complaints come from minors, according to police” . Quebec Solidaire spokeswoman Manon Massé argued that her party was trying to correct a “blind spot” in the system.

“Let’s not wait for the next tragedy”

“Young people have been doing the work of adults for more than five years. Now is the time to take responsibility. Let’s not wait for the next drama. Let’s act now,” argued Havau Si, a member of the La Voix de Jeunes Compte collective.

Sexual Violence In School | Qs Reintroduces The Bill With The Support Of Pq And Plq

Photo Josie Desmarais, Press

Howaou Sai, the voice of young people from the collective matters

Bill 397 will “cast a wider net”, promises M.Me Ghazal. In particular, it aims to adopt a policy to prevent and combat sexual violence in all establishments from preschool to secondary school, including vocational training and adult education centres.

The policy will include prevention and awareness measures, mandatory annual training for management and employees, and a detailed grievance procedure. The presence of a sexual violence services or resource person is also provided in each establishment.

Solidarity representative Christine Labrie of Sherbrooke had previously tried to pass a similar bill, but it died on the order paper during the last election.

“There are young people who don’t even know what sexual assault is. That’s why we have to have prevention,” said liberal Marwah Rizky, who will support the bill. “Mr. Drenville, I know you’re listening to us. We want to pass it in this legislature and in a perfect world by June. We are available, Mr. Drainville, ”she said directly to the minister.

Sexual Violence In School | Qs Reintroduces The Bill With The Support Of Pq And Plq

Photo Josie Desmarais, Press

Liberal Marwah Rizki

Quebec “sensitive”, but …

In mid-April, after launching a general investigation into cases of sexual violence in schools, Minister Drenville announced the establishment of a telephone line to report any sexual misconduct or violence in schools. Press However, it was later reported that no one answers the line, which is more than a voicemail.1,

This shows once again that we are in emergency mode, when the problem is much deeper than it really is.

Megan Perry Melancon, national spokesperson for the Parti Québécois and former MP for Gaspe

In writing, Mr Drainville’s cabinet said on Sunday it was “very sensitive to issues relating to sexual violence in our schools”, though without confirming whether it would proceed with a framework law.

“The collective The Voice of Youth People Counts was heard in a special consultation in 2022 on the Bill on the Protector of the Student where we can find a whole section on sexual violence. Our government also adopted this law in June 2022,” said press attache Florence Plourde, recalling that the law provides that a “separate section” of the plan to combat threats and violence deals with violence of a sexual nature. Must be dedicated to.

Quebec also wants to mandate “training activities for members of management and staff members as well as safeguards aimed at combating sexual violence”. These new measures are going to be implemented from 15 September.

For meMe Ghazal, however, “isn’t enough”, the student protester. “Ultimately it is like an ombudsman. However, we know that as soon as a young person speaks out, there should be a resource in the school”, she recalls, adding that a young person who has been assaulted may not necessarily Want to join the organization?

with the canadian press

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