News / Vancouver

Open forum at UBC to discuss sexual assault and harassment on transit

UBC students will swap ideas for improving protection against sexual assaults on public transit at an open forum, Monday night.

B.C. Transit Police Sgt. Wendy Hawthorne as well as Anisa Mottahed, manager of UBC's Sexual Assault Support Centre, are featured speakers at the event, titled Sexual Assault, Safety and Public Transit.

However, participants are encouraged to contribute their own suggestions for how to improve safety on public transit.

“This is an opportunity to change the culture of transit,” said Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director at Battered Women’s Support Services, in a new release.

Sexual assault and harassment is a long-standing concern for users of public transit.

Following its launch last fall, the Harassment on Translink project was flooded with stories about alleged sexual assaults on Vancouver's buses and SkyTrains.

SFU students Alexa Dredge and Katie Nordgren said they started the blog to draw attention to harassment on the transit system.

Sexual assaults are top of mind for UBC students right now, as police hunt for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted numerous female students on the Point Grey campus late in 2013.

The university issued a notice before the start of the school year, reminding students to stay safe and not to walk alone on campus after dark.

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