Take the #ChooseToSee Pledge below!
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AWARENESS WEEK
MAY 15-19, 2023
Each year, Saskatchewan marks Sexual Violence Awareness Week (SVAW) to shine a light on the staggering numbers and facts surrounding sexualized violence in our province.
Saskatchewan’s rate of sexual violence is nearly double the national average, the second highest of the provinces. Despite this, estimates in Canada show that only 6% of sexual assaults are reported.
At SSAIC, we refuse to look away from the facts and the attitudes and beliefs that bolster sexualized violence in our culture – we choose to see the way it impacts our community and everyone within it, and we choose to take action to stop it.
In 2022, the Coalition of Regional Sexual Assault Centres of Saskatchewan (CRSAC) partners – Regina Sexual Assault Centre (RSAC), Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre (SSAIC), and Battlefords & Area Sexual Assault Centre (BASAC) – released a powerful awareness campaign to mark the week: #ChooseToSee. We challenged our communities to think about the ways sexualized violence impacts people’s lives, often in unspoken and unseen ways.
Each day in our work as sexual violence organizations, we see it – we know that survivors carry themselves with hypervigilance and fight-or-flight defaults everywhere, having unspoken rules to keep one another safe. The personal responsibility of prevention often falls only on those who are at risk of sexual violence, rather than being seen as a community wide issue that requires community wide action.
For SVAW 2023, we are asking our community to join us, not only in choosing to see, but choosing to involve themselves in creating change.
When we acknowledge and understand the ways sexualized violence impacts individuals, we have a choice to make – do we simply see and accept the inequity? Or do we speak up, stand up, and choose to act?
With our continued #ChooseToSee campaign, we are inviting our community to continue building their awareness of sexualized violence in Saskatchewan without looking the other way, while also thinking about personal and social actions that can be taken to create change and dismantle rape culture and the attitudes that contribute to sexualized violence. Sign the #ChooseToSee Pledge at the bottom of this page to pledge your commitment and tell us how you will #ChooseToSee and #ChooseToAct.
#ChooseToSee the Impacts of Sexual Violence
#ChooseToAct. Every single day.
Recognize normalized actions of harassment and assault and consciously seek to stop them.
Examples: Interpreting someone saying ‘no’ to dating or sex as ‘playing hard to get’, or ‘jokingly’ flashing or pants-ing someone, or pinching or hitting their private parts.
Hold friends and family accountable when they engage in comments or actions that are harmful.
Examples: Reject ‘locker room talk’ and problematic statements like ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘he’s mean to you because he likes you’, and jokes that trivialize sexual violence.
Listen to, believe, and support someone when they disclose sexual assault, abuse, or harassment.
Examples: Avoid victim blaming questions like “Why didn’t you fight back?” or minimizing their hurt by saying “I’m sure they didn’t mean it.” or “Are you sure you’re not just confused about what happened?”
Take bystander intervention training so you can safely and effectively intervene if you witness sexualized violence or harassment happening.
Understand the actions and language that establish consent, and practice them in your relationships.
- The absence of “No” is not consent
- Coercion + fear is not consent
- There is no such thing as “non-consensual sex” or “sex with a minor” – that is sexual assault
Willing – Given voluntarily without manipulation
Clear – Enthusiastic and vocally confirmed
Coherent – Conscious & Sober
Ongoing – Obtained every step of the way
Of Age – NOT under the age of 12, ABOVE the age of 16, WITHIN the close-in-age exceptions
DONATE to organizations like ours who are supporting survivors of sexualized violence every day.
We cannot change what we do not acknowledge.
Sexual violence impacts us all.