PROVINCE LAUNCHES SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH IN MANITOBA
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Educating Manitobans is Key: Squires
The Manitoba government will recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month by raising awareness, sharing information about available resources and fostering a greater understanding of consent, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for status of women, announced today.
“Manitoba has a high rate of sexual violence and sexual assault against women and girls. Unfortunately, many victims don’t feel comfortable coming forward to report these incidents,” said Squires. “We must change the dialogue to support survivors.”
According to a Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, there were 1,356 police-reported sexual assaults in Manitoba in 2015, a rate of more than 104 sexual violence victims for every 100,000 people. The national rate is approximately 59 victims per 100,000 people. Statistics Canada’s 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization shows 95 per cent of sexual assaults nationally are not reported to police.
“It is important for all of us to think about how we can prevent sexual violence to keep women and girls safe in Manitoba, and what we can do individually and collectively to support survivors,” said Squires. “One approach we can all take is to become more informed on what consent means.”
The Manitoba Status of Women Secretariat is hosting two information sessions in April:
- Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault – What You Need to Know, 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 7, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, 445 King St. (Event Hall). Speakers include representatives from Ka Ni Kanichihk, Klinic, Manitoba Victim Services, Manitoba Prosecution Service, RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service.
- Creating a Culture of Consent – Experiences from Working with Kids, Youth and Adults, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, Brandon University (Louis Riel Room). Panelists include representatives from Brandon University, Brandon Pride, the Sexuality Education Resource Centre and Women’s Resource Centre.
Manitobans are encouraged to visit www.gov.mb.ca/youarenotalone for information on consent, how to report an assault and resources to support survivors of sexual violence.
The government will use social media to share information all month of April. Manitobans can participate in the discussion using the hashtags #Consent, #SAAM2017, #EndSV, #SupportSurvivors, #ConsentCulture and #YouAreNotAlone.
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