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May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Jancy Brown

By Jancy Brown

Sexual Assault Awareness Month – is an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. This year the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre is focusing on ways that individuals, communities, and the private sector can help prevent sexual violence.
Everyone understands that sexual violence impacts victims and their families, but the effects of this violent crime on communities and society are less obvious. Sexual violence creates a climate of fear, anger, and/or disbelief in the workplaces, campuses, and communities that it occurs in. Additionally, sexual violence generates financial costs such as criminal justice and medical expenses, crisis and mental health service fees, and, perhaps most damaging; the lost contributions of survivors.
Preventing such a far-reaching and prevalent social issue as sexual violence may seem overwhelming or even impossible. This mentality implies that there isn’t a solution — or if there is, we can’t achieve it. But we can and we are. Prevention starts with challenging victim-blaming and believing survivors when they disclose. Individuals can model supportive relationships and behaviors, call out harmful attitudes, and challenge the societal acceptance of rape. Communities and businesses can take action to implement policies that promote safety, respect, and equality.
Prevention is possible! Join us in making Renfrew County a place where everyone is treated with respect and equality by promoting an awareness of sexual violence, safe behaviors, and healthy relationships. To learn more about our events for this month and how you can sign up for our upcoming events, please visit our our Facebook page /wsacrc or call 613-735-5551. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence we invite you to call our 24/7 crisis line at 1-800-663-6030. We are here to listen without judgement, believe you, and support whatever decision you make – even if it is to do nothing.

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