"Don't Be That Guy" - Round 2!
The Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE) Committee has released the second installation of the Don't Be that Guy campaign. The SAVE committee is committed to sharing their campaigns and they encourage you to use the posters to assist with awareness efforts in your community. See New Posters.
The Huffington Post references the Don't be the Guy campaign in article on
the Times Of India's 'Definition Of Manhood' advertisement.
The Times of India has initiated an advertising campaign targeting men to
stop violence against women. The ad concludes "The true test of your
manhood is how you treat a woman. All women. Any woman. Every woman. . . If
you do not respect a woman, you are only half a man." Read
the complete article.
New Book: Gender, Culture, Religion: Tackling some difficult questions
The book focuses on honour-based violence and includes chapters on “honour” killings, sex selective abortion, and forced marriage. At launch events in October, speakers mentioned several key challenges including specialized risk identification given distinguishing features of “honour” crimes and threats, cross-cultural policing response challenges, and difficulties in securing appropriate and safe accommodation, such as shelters, for female teens facing the threat of “honour-based” violence.
An e-copy of the book is available.
Making a Difference Canada lends its voice to endorsing the maintenance of the Criminal Code of Canada provisions protecting the privacy interests of complainants in sexual offence prosecutions.
Making a Difference Canada, led by David O'Brien, a Crown with the PEI team, prepared and submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs highlighting a resolution passed that endorses the maintenance of the current Criminal Code of Canada provisions protecting the privacy interests of complainants in sexual offence prosecutions. The submission was acknowledged in the final report, Statutory Review on the Provisions and Operation of the Act to amend the Criminal Code (production of records in sexual offence proceedings, S.C. 1997, c.30. pg. 52.
Read the full text of the committee's report and recommendations
Study Advances Improvements for Sexual Assault Investigations
The Houston Police Department is improving the process for handling sexual assault cases by providing specialized training for investigators and adding a justice advocate as the result of ongoing research being directed by a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders.
Through a National Institute of Justice grant, Sam Houston State University and the University of Texas at Austin are studying the large number of untested sexual assault kits and developing strategies to address the issue for law enforcement, victims and prosecutors. It is one of two studies funded nationwide to develop model protocols in sexual assault cases.
“Rape kits are just one piece in a large puzzle,” said William Wells, an associate professor at SHSU College of Criminal Justice. “These crimes are very complicated and the investigation and prosecution of these cases are also complicated. We are taking a comprehensive look at more than just the rape kits. Our objective is to improve many parts of the process, including evidence auditing, training, investigations, and victim notification.”
Houston was chosen as one of two sites to study the issue. As a result of the research, several new initiatives will be introduced in the Houston area to improve the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases. Among these are:
■ Delivering specialized training for investigators in sexual assault cases
■ Creating a justice advocate position to serve as a bridge between sexual assault survivors and investigators
■ Providing additional resources for law enforcement to investigate cases
■ Supporting services provided by the Houston Area Women’s Center and by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
The first in a series of specialized trainings for investigators in sexual assault cases was held on March 27 at Texas Southern University for up to 300 law enforcement officers from Houston area agencies. The program, “Not Making Sense is Traumatic: Neurobiology of Trauma,” was led by Dr. Rebecca Campbell of Michigan State University, one of the foremost researchers on violence against women. The program explained how the brain responds to trauma and the impact of trauma on victims participating in the criminal justice system. Through resources provided by the grant, the Houston Police Department will deliver additional training programs on specific issues related to the investigation of sexual assault.
Sam Houston State University is teaming up with the Houston Police Department to produce a series of “how-to” reports that share lessons learned about tackling key issues in sex assault cases. For those departments that have untested sexual assault kits, one report will discuss the audit process that was used to determine what to do in those cases. In addition, a second report will describe the unique structure of the Houston Police Department’s juvenile sex crimes unit, which serves minors and young children.
The study also will continue to investigate the results that occur when untested rape kits are screened and tested, and members of the project team will provide presentations across the county on the various aspects of their findings. Members of the Sam Houston State University research team, including several graduate students, have presented results to the Houston Police Department and at the meeting of the American Society of Criminology.
Access past news.
| Testimonial Writing Workshop
The Voices and Faces Project to Host a Testimonial Writing Workshop
Guided and co-facilitated by writer and literary critic R. Clifton Spargo and Voices and Faces Project founder Anne K. Ream, this workshop will provide participants with a sense of history regarding other social movements, to encourage them to consider the various ways that they might write about their own experiences, and to foster in them the sense that the quality of their own self-expression can be artful and that literary standards do not impede our ability to testify to our experiences, but instead can help us aspire to do so in a way that is lasting and important.
WATCH THIS SPACE
MYTH 1: Most rapes are committed by strangers.
FACT: More often than not, sexual assault is perpetrated by a family member, relative, friend or acquaintance. In fact, in 64% of reported cases the victim knew the accused.
MYTH 2: People sometimes say "no", whey they really mean "yes".
FACT: No means NO, regardless of the circumstance. Also, if someone says "yes" under duress it is not consent—consent must be given voluntarily.
MYTH 3: Men can't be raped.
FACT: Many men don't report their sexual assault, so statistics are limited. However, of the assaults that are reported, approximately 15.7% of them involve male victims.
MYTH 4: She must have somehow "asked for it."
FACT: This is often how the attacker justifies his behavior. What ‘type of woman' she is, what her occupation is, or how a woman dresses or acts, are irrelevant. No one asks to be raped.
MYTH 5: Women who feel guilty or vindictive often lie about being raped.
FACT: Rarely are false reports of sexual assault made. The truth is, sexual assault is a greatly under-reported crime, especially if the survivor knows her (or his) attacker.
MYTH 6: Certain types of women are "unrapeable."
FACT: Regardless of a woman's profession or sexual practices, she can still be sexually assaulted. If consent isn't given willingly it is rape. Rape is not about the sex, it is an act of dominance and control.
MYTH 7: Women can't be assaulted by husbands or boyfriends.
FACT: According to the law, a woman has the right to say no to her significant other. Again, it's about willing consent. If it's not given, it's sexual assault.
MYTH 8: Carrying some form of protection can prevent sexual assault.
FACT: Maybe. Maybe not. But telling someone that carrying mace or keys between their fingers, etc could prevent an attack only adds to a survivor's sense of guilt and self-blame.
MYTH 9: Rape is a crime of passion.
FACT: In over 70% of the cases, rape is a premeditated act of VIOLENCE, and has nothing to do with passion. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger, and control, not sexual gratification.
MYTH 10: People who are intoxicated or on drugs are willing to participate in any kind of sexual activity.
FACT: Drinking or taking drugs does not imply consent. In fact, alcohol and drugs can render a person incapable of consent—and no consent equals assault.