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Sexual assault support advocate selected to serve on national advisory committee

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Feb 27, 2019

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB

A sexual assault support advocate at the University of New Brunswick has been selected to serve on the newly established Advisory Committee on the Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions.

Hilary Swan has been the tri-campus advocate at UNB since September 2018. Within this position, which is a partnership with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, Ms. Swan is the first point of contact for students who have experienced assault at UNB, St. Thomas University and New Brunswick Community College.

The advisory committee, established by the Minister for Women and Gender Equality the Honourable Maryam Monsef and chaired by the Department for Women and Gender Equality, was created to provide advice and feedback on the development of a framework for addressing gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions. Members of the committee will also provide support for consultations on the framework, as well as its implementation.

“What I admire about being a part of this advisory panel is the emphasis they are placing on creating solutions that are trauma-informed and intersectional,” says Ms. Swan.

“Those that make up the advisory panel are aware of the unique impacts that sexual violence has on survivors. They recognize that when individuals experience sexual violence it changes the way they see the world. They recognize how speaking about sexual violence is met with such a strong stigma present in our society, often resulting in the survivor blaming themselves for their assault. They also recognize how different populations, whether it be their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, ability or class, may experience the impacts of sexual violence differently because of embedded oppression that is in our systems of support.”

The advisory committee was developed in response to the Government of Canada’s 2018 budget commitment to prevent and address gender-based violence of all forms, which includes incidents at post-secondary institutions. The framework will ensure that minimum standards are met when post-secondary institutions respond to gender-based violence.

“I am incredibly honoured to be able to a part of a council made up of such forward-thinking, driven and passionate individuals. I look forward to sharing the innovative model that the tri-campuses have with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre, as this model has allowed experts in the fields of sexual violence and trauma informed care provide frontline support to those impacted by sexual violence within our campus community,” says Ms. Swan.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Rob Blanchard