By Paula Wells, Events and Social Media Planner
May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Ontario and WomanACT wants to take this time to raise awareness of the impact of sexual assault, share some of the supports available for survivors and measures being taken to prevent it.
Sexual Assault is any unwanted sexual contact. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, and cultural background. Sexual assault can be committed by anyone; a stranger, a friend, a partner, a family member or a person in a position of authority. Although men and boys experience sexual violence, most victims are women and girls.
Sexual violence and harassment, are widespread throughout Canada. According to a recent report, one in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime. Last month , we shared information on our blog that women with disabilities are more likely to experience childhood sexual abuse. According to a recent study “12% of women with a disability reported being forced into unwanted sexual activity by an adult before the age of 15, compared with 5% of women without a disability.”
This month you can expect to see basic information on sexual violence, statistics, the justice systems response to sexual assault, information on different types of harassment including online sexual violence and harassment. We will also ask for Party Leaders to prioritize issues of gender equity and women’s safety in the Ontario 2018 election.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and be a part of the conversation by using hashtags like #TimesUp #MeToo #EverydaySexism #SAAM #SexualAssault #CyberSexualViolence
Looking for support?
Sexual Assault Centres in Ontario offer confidential and free counselling to survivors of recent and historical sexual assault. You can reach a counsellor by phone at any time by calling a sexual assault centre crisis line.
It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment (Toronto: Author, 2015), p. 9,