We, students of Canadian post-secondary institutions and our supporters, are asking Canadian universities and colleges to establish and sanction a Sexual Violence on Campus Awareness Week to take place in mid-October (at the discretion of individual institutions).
The prevalence of sexual violence on Canadian Campuses is not given nearly enough attention:
• 20-25% of women in university or college experience completed or attempted rape over the course of their degree
• 70% occur in residences!
• 80% of campus rapes are committed by someone the victim knows
• 50% occur on dates
• Many of these assaults happen during the first eight weeks of classes
As well, sexual violence is not perpetrated against women alone (just as it is not perpetrated by men alone). In indirect and direct ways, sexual violence affects men, trans persons, and individuals of all gender identities. SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS A HUMAN ISSUE, NOT A WOMEN'S ISSUE.
We need the administration of universities and colleges to recognize that sexual violence on campus is a serious problem and that they should establish and sanction a Sexual Violence on Campus Awareness Week that would:
• recognize the existence of sexual violence,
• clearly define “sexual violence” and other related terms (such as consent, non-consent, violence, assault, and harassment),
• eradicate the shame and other negative connotations associated with being a victim or survivor of sexual violence,
• and, most of all: put an end to the silence.
Through education, peer-to-peer support networking, and activism, we - students and our supporters - aim to create safer spaces and positive experiences within (and around) campus environments.
We aim to establish unified communities that understand sexual violence and how it affects every single individual in a community environment.
We aim to combat systems of rape culture, sexual “norms” that are prevalent on university and college campuses, and language that reinforces and normalizes sexual violence.
By sanctioning a Sexual Violence on Campus Awareness Week, scheduled for the beginning of each academic year, we create a framework for each school to promote education, support, and activism-based initiatives tailored to the distinct needs of each student body.
Join our fight on facebook at www.facebook.com/violenceoncampus