Sexual violence is a gender-based crime in Canada. Sexual violence is an umbrella term that refers to sexual activities where consent was not given freely or ongoing. Not all sexual violence is physical in nature, cyberstalking and harassment are examples of sexual violence. The majority of survivors are female and the the majority of perpetrators are men. Women in Canada will experience sexual violence throughout their lifetime. Young women in Canada between the ages of 15 – 24 are 18 times more likely to experience sexual assault than women over the age of 55.
Sexual violence remains a pandemic in Canada and we must act now to make change. In 2015, the Canadian Women’s Foundation released a report that indicated only 1 in 3 Canadians could accurately define consent. In a society where women continue to be objectified and toxic masculinity is deeply engrained into societal norms, it is not surprising the “rape culture” prevails. Movies, social media, and other entertainment platforms often normalize harmful sexual behaviours – and technology has advanced at an incredulous rate, further blurring the lines between consensual activity and sexual violence.
As Canadians, we must stand up and speak out against sexual violence. As allies, we must learn the true meaning of consent and challenge the harmful behaviours that perpetuate a rape culture. You can #bemorethanabystander and take your #firststepfirstchange at www.mentoraction.org