It's Sexual Violence Awareness Month!

Hello everyone and welcome to our 6th week of this blog! It’s become a familiar part of my weekly routine, and I hope the same is true for some of you.


This week’s topic is all about Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM), because that is the month of May every year! Before I get started, because our topic is SVAM, this blog post contains content about sexual assault and harassment. I know that this is a difficult topic to talk and hear about. If this topic isn’t for you right now, for whatever reason, that is OKAY. One of the best things about coming to you through technology is that you have control! You can close this screen and stop reading right now if that is what makes you comfortable.


That said, for those of you who choose to stay, I thank you because I strongly believe in the power of raising awareness about sexual violence, not least because it IS such a difficult topic to talk about.


I had hoped that our tidal wave of content for this SVAM has caught your attention, and it seems to have done the trick! 91% of our lovely social media followers responded that they knew it is SVAM, hooray! I also asked, ‘what is an impact that you hope SVAM can have on your community’ and the answers I got were about raising awareness and eliminating the ‘taboo’ nature of the issue. Those tie in perfectly to what we are doing with this livestream and all the content that we will be posting this month! Making sure that people are becoming aware of the issue of sexual violence by talking about it, bringing attention to this normally avoided topic, is what we’re all about! So, let’s get started:

Main Points of SA&H Presentation

Stats

- The latest AASAS (Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services) study shows that just under 1 in 2 girls and 1 in 4 boys are sexually abused by the time they are 18. This shows how prevalent the issue is. These stats mean that around 43% of the population has been directly affected by sexual violence.

- LGB – 2x as likely to experience sexual violence, bisexual women are 7x more likely.

- 95% of sexual assault go unreported: #1 reason is because they don’t think people will believe them, due to prevalence of victim blaming myths (must have tempted them, worn certain clothes, b/c you were drunk, can’t be assaulted by your partner)

Myths

Perpetrators are strangers: 82% committed by acquaintances

It happens in public places: “. . . three in five (62% and 61% respectively) sexual assaults reported to police took place on private property” (Police-reported sexual assaults in Canada before and after #MeToo, 2016 and 2017).

People lie about assault all the time: false reporting % is between 2 and 10%, which is similar to the false reporting rate of other crimes (https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/2012-03/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_False-Reporting.pdf).

They were drunk so they probably asked for it: you can’t give or get consent when you’re drunk, this is also reflected in the Canadian Criminal Code

They’ve slept around: doesn’t make a difference, and shouldn’t affect how we view the worth of people.

Impacts