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 Universities must challenge “toxic” campus rape culture

Activist and YouTube star Laci Green suggested that universities should work proactively to overcome sexual violence in a talk on “Taking Down Rape Culture” at the University of Victoria on Sept. 30.

Green used the opportunity to explore how western society normalizes rape culture and she also addressed how damaging this can be to victims of sexual assault. The 25-year-old stressed the importance of tackling sexual violence on campus in her speech, which was attended by several hundred people.

In an interview prior to her talk, the well-known sex educator said, “We need to change the sexual scripts that are happening, because a lot of it’s really toxic. Sometimes people learn toxic stuff: they need to unlearn it.”

Green believes that universities should be doing more to challenge rape culture: “I think that the administrations need to get policies that are survivor friendly and very consent centered going on campus ASAP.”

When asked about the university’s “Let’s Get Consensual” campaign, Green said that this work is “Very important…. People who are out there, that this happens to, need to know that they’re not alone.”

She spoke articulately in advocating for ongoing consent education and ended her speech by inviting the audience to be actively involved in putting an end to rape culture. Her direct approach to the sensitive topic seemed to strongly resonate with the largely student audience and she was met with a standing ovation.

Green is currently on a tour of 21 North American universities and her talk was free for students to attend. Her visit comes just three days after a female student was sexually assaulted on campus at UVic, in a wooded area near student housing.

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