B.C. Premier Christy Clark has revealed the reasons her government is supporting the Green Party’s sexual assault bill.
Her open letter in the Vancouver Sun tells the story of a close encounter for Clark. She says one day on her way to work, when she was 13 years old, a man pulled her into the bushes.
In the letter the premier says the man didn’t say anything and she doesn’t remember what he looked like, but she says as he pulled her down a slope he must have lost his balance. She was then able to wriggle away and get out of the bush.
She ran to her restaurant job and never told anyone about what happened.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared this story with female friends and colleagues. Almost every single one of them also had a story. Like me, none of them had said a word.
That’s why the stories of so many women who stay silent have struck me so deeply. Many of their stories are much worse; horrifying events will take years of determined effort to heal. Nonetheless, many of us share something in common: we have never spoken about it, not to the authorities, or our parents or spouses.
Clark goes on to say:
You know what bothers me the most about what happened to 13-year-old me? Not knowing if the man who pulled me into the bushes kept going until he caught a girl who couldn’t get away.
I wish I’d had the courage to say something then. I do now.
She says her government is supporting the bill in order to build a community where women and men “who have dealt with sexual violence can feel safe and comfortable talking about it.”
“Let’s help the institutions where we work, go to school and live our everyday lives, understand the breadth of this problem.”
The legislation would require post-secondary institutions to have sexual assault policies.
WATCH: (Aired March 17, 2015) – The premier has announced support for a Green Party bill –that would require post-secondary institutions throughout the province to have sex assault policies. We have reaction from MLA Andrew Weaver and reporter Grace Ke.