Bold Initiative Challenges Attitudes Around Drinking and Sexual Assault
After alarming statistics revealed that 70% to 90% of sexual assaults involved alcohol, a diverse group of community organizations joined forces with the Edmonton Police to form a coalition called Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE). When results of a UK studyrevealed that 48% of 18-25 year old males didn’t consider it rape if a woman
drank too much, the group launched a high profile campaign in November 2010.
The “Hey Buddy, don’t be that guy!” posters feature graphic images and messages that reinforce that sex without consent is sexual assault. The provocative campaign, which launched in November 2010, received strong print, radio and television coverage not only in Edmonton, but across Canada, and was the subject of blogs, and social media networks. Get full story
Addressing Sexual Violence – Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives
Toronto Conference June 23 and 24, 2011
In June, the Ontario Women’s Directorate, Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes, the University of Western Ontario and the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children held a bilingual conference to examine new ways of effectively educating the public concerning sexual violence.
Examples of several different campaigns being used across North America and beyond were presented. Societal norms, organizational practices, community attitudes and behaviours of potential offenders all need to change. The conference recognized that there are six parts to having an effective social marketing campaign. 1. Framing the Issue 2. Key Elements of Effective Social Marketing 3. Applying Social Norms Theory: How to Change Behaviour 4. Engaging Bystanders 5. Campaign Message Considerations 6. Campaign Messenger Considerations: Who Should Deliver the Message
Some of the organizations presenting very informative and innovative materials at the conference included: ■ Men Can Stop Rape (USA) ■ Outiller les jeunes face à l’hypersexualisation (Hyper sexualization campaign) Université du Québec à Montréal ■ Bringing in the Bystander, University of Windsor, Ontario ■ Yes Makes Sex Hot – Get Consent, University of Victoria, BC ■ Prevention Approaches with Men and Boys on consent and Gender Equality, White Ribbon Campaign ■ Consent is Sexy, Columbia University, New York City ■ Only Yes Means Yes, Women Abuse Working Group, Hamilton Ontario ■ Campaign considerations With Drug Facilitated Sexual Assaults, Ontario Network of Sexual Assault Care and Women’s College Hospital ■ SAY SO (Sexual Assault Yearly Speak Out), New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault ■ Enhanced AAA Sexual Assault Resistance Program, University of Windsor ■ I know Someone, University of Western Ontario ■ No Means No, Canadian Federation of University Students, York University ■ Riposte, Franc-parler, Instinct (Approach to reaching Francophone communities), COPA Centre Ontarien de Prevention des Aggressions ■ Be the Solution, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs ■ It Starts With You. It Ends With Him, White Ribbon Campaign ■ Ça Commence Avec Toi. Ça Reste Avec Lui, Centre Ontarien de Prevention des Aggressions ■ Don’t Be That Guy, Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton ■ I’m Not For Sale, RCMP ■ Peel Regional Police Human Trafficking Campaign, Peel Regional Police ■ A Future. Not a Past, Juvenile Justice Fund, Atlanta, Georgia
The Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE) gave a presentation on the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign. The campaign focused on the issue of alcohol facilitated sexual assaults with a poster campaign aimed at the offender. In Edmonton there has been a recorded increase in the number of alcohol facilitated sexual assaults committed by young men between 18 and 24 and that the vast majority of victims are young women of a similar age who have some form of relationship with the perpetrator. These are not stranger assaults.
This was an excellent conference that addressed changing social norms and attitudes to bring about positive social change.
Supreme Court of Canada rules against the idea of "advance consent" to
On May 27, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision that ruled against the idea of "advance consent" to sexual assault. They concluded that there can be no consent in law when a woman is unconscious. The lengthy decision is summarized as follows:
(66) The definition of consent for sexual assault requires the complainant to provide actual active consent throughout every phase of the sexual
activity. It is not possible for an unconscious person to satisfy this requirement, even if she expresses her consent in advance. Any sexual
activity with an individual who is incapable of consciously evaluating whether she is consenting is therefore not consensual within the meaning of
the Criminal Code.
Read the Full Decision
Canadians Participate in 2011 EVAW International Conference
Participants had the opportunity to listen, work and learn with highly respected experts in the field on a broad range of topics, share memories with friends and colleagues, and refuel the passion to make a difference for victims. Click here to download the conference presentations.
The representation by professional discipline was diverse:
2011 EVAW Conference participants by discipline (provided by EVAW International)
20 Canadians participated in the conference, including Det/Sgt. Paul Bevan from the Niagara Region Making a Difference team and Ruth Montgomery, the coordinator of Making a Difference Canada. Paul and Ruth held an informal “meet and greet” with other Canadians to promote Making a Difference Canada, exchange information on Canadian best practices, and identify opportunities to mutually support each other’s efforts.
Contact Ruth Montgomery if you would like copies of specific presentations.
June 29, 2011: Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: what every service provider needs to know
This session, led by a recognized Canadian drug expert, was offered to augment understanding and assist service providers to respond more effectively to drug facilitated sexual assaults.
The presentation focused on: ■ How drugs are used and popular mixes of drugs currently favoured ■ Drug types and behaviours associated with their use ■ Practices and protocols service providers should consider to improve victim support and investigations ■ Building public awareness and educating the public about the problem
Contact Ruth Montgomery for a copy of the accompanying power point presentation.
April 18, 2011:The Use of Penile Swabs as an Investigative Tool in Sexual Assault Investigations
A few spaces still available in Mount Royal University Forensic Studies
All study is online and self-paced with
opportunities for online interaction throughout the term with other
students and faculty.
Courses begin Sept 12, 2011 and finish by December 20, 2011.
Courses offered this term include: ■ FORE 5501 Forensic issues, history and risk populations ■ FORE 5503 Forensic mental health and corrections ■ FORE 5505 Victims of violence ■ FORE 5509 Expert witness testimony ■ FORE 5513 Sexual assault examination and intervention (SANE course)
Registration space is limited but a few spaces are still open for
professionals if you contact them prior to Sept 3, 2011.
For further information or to register, visit the program website or contact Rebecca Alexander, the instructional assistant, or call toll free 1-800-240-6891.
Upcoming BC Institute of Technology Forensic Health Science Courses.
This program, designed for health care workers involved in forensic
examinations as well as for the law enforcement, legal and scientific
professionals who must interact with them during a forensic investigation,
focuses on the appropriate application of forensic principles as an
important component of overall patient care when the patient is a victim of
trauma, sexual assault, violence or crime.
Topics include collection and protection of evidence, effective communication with police and other
agencies, and compliance with standards required in a forensic or legal investigation.
■September start: FSCT 7810 Introduction to Forensic Health Sciences ■October start: FSCT 7820 Management of Victims of Violence in October ■ January 2012 start: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Course
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.