May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The reality is that one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime so the chances that you know someone who has been sexually assaulted is very high. Sexual assault affects us all.
The Kenora Sexual Assault Centre has a few initiatives that will be taking place during the month of May. On May 4th we will be hanging ribbons on Main Street and the harbour front. We will also be distributing posters to local businesses asking that people wear purple on May 6th for the No One Asks For It campaign. We want to get the message out there to everyone that no one asks to be sexually assaulted and people need to understand that it is the perpetrator that people should be blaming and not the victim. Often when you hear that a person has been sexually assaulted the victim gets blamed…she shouldn’t have worn that skimpy outfit, she shouldn’t have been out drinking, and she shouldn’t have been walking home alone. This is called victim blaming…people blame the victim for the assault instead of the perpetrator for the actions that HE chose to do. It is never the women’s fault that she has experienced a sexual assault. Victim blaming is not helpful. That is one of the reasons that some women are afraid to talk to anyone about what happened to them. At KSAC we believe women! We don’t blame you for what happened. It’s not your fault!
Throughout the month of May we will be visiting the local high schools and setting up a table during the lunch hour to engage youth in talking about sexual violence. We will be presenting youth with different scenarios from the Draw the Line Campaign and discussing what they can do when they see a situation that just isn’t right. You can check out scenarios at http://www.draw-the-line.ca/.
On May 6th the centre will be having a booth at the CMHA BBQ for their Mental Health Week. This will take place at the Knox United Church over the lunch hour. We will also have a display outside the cafeteria at the Lake of the Woods Hospital for the month of May so stop by and check it out!
At the end of May the Kenora Sexual Assault Centre will be distributing a letter along with brochures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. We ask that employers and employees discuss this important issue in their workplace and ensure that the agency/business has a sexual harassment policy in place. If anyone would like a presentation on the topic they can call the centre to request one at 468-7958.
Let us all work together to end sexual violence in Kenora!
Acting Centre Director