Line 1 833 DENOUNCED: another ineffective measure, believes a collective

Line 1 833 DENOUNCED: another ineffective measure, considers a collective

The collective La voix des jeunes count posing in front of Radio-Canada before the September 22 leaders' debate.

The new toll-free telephone line 1 833 DENONCE, set up on Wednesday and intended for elementary and secondary school students to report sexual violence at school, is a measure that does not go far enough, according to the collective La voix des young people count. This hotline follows the promise of the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, to offer additional help in the wake of sexual violence committed by a teacher at Collège Stanislas.

“We welcome any initiative to help young people, but we are very skeptical about the effectiveness of a telephone line,” says the collective's co-coordinator, Alexandra Dupuy. The only thing that the government will understand with the messages of denunciation and the appeals of the victims is that there are problems of sexual violence in schools, something that has been repeated for years.

A law rather than a line

She recalls that the collective has been demanding since 2018 the implementation of a framework law by the Quebec government with the aim of limiting the phenomenon of sexual violence in schools. According to the collective, this law would make it possible to better intervene when there are denunciations or reports from young people, unlike anonymous denunciations by telephone for which no follow-up is provided.

“This new line will mainly be used by young people who have already experienced violence and will only repeat, again, their stories and their traumas, even sometimes to a voicemail. There is therefore no constitution of files with these young people, and they are left to themselves after the report.”

Quebec solidaire MNA Ruba Ghazal agrees and insists on the importance of a framework law, better able to curb this problem in addition to offering the help and support that victims of sexual violence need.

“Is young victims really go to report an attack by telephone? If we've learned one thing from MeToo, it’s that the process of reporting an assault can be very intimidating and complex. We must go further than a telephone line and adopt a framework law to fight against sexual violence in our schools, ”she argues.

The Ministry of Education recalls that the victims and witnesses criminal acts at school must report these cases to the police and that it is also possible to report them by email to signalements@education.gouv.qc.ca.

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