1 in 4 Women are Sexually Assaulted in Canada, The Time for Change is NOW!

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My name is Ashley Gauvin and I am writing to you as the creator of SPEAK a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising the awareness of Sexual Assault in Canada. SPEAK is dedicated to promoting change in response to the presence of sexual assault in our country and we hope you will join our mission. 

 In Canada 1 out 4 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime and out of those women, only 5 percent of them report their assault to the police. According to a recent Study by the RCMP, 14-29 percent of convicted sex offenders become repeat offenders, depending on nature of the offence. This percentage increases to about 35 percent when the criminal has already been convicted as a repeat sexual offender. Although, these percentages may seem less concerning, what I want to reiterate is the fact that only 5 percent of women report that they are victims of sexual assault to the police. This concurs that there is likely more of a concern for repeat sex offenders than reiterated. I also want to stress the particular concern that I have, that in North America 60 percent of sexual assaults concern victims under the age of 17 years old.

There are 3 measures that I argue need to be taken in response to the presence of sexual assault in Canada and I hope you will sign my petition to show your support for these 3 mandates.

Firstly, I think it is important to engage more academic conversations on sexual assault and consent in early education. In and around the seventh grade the young youth in our country are taught about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and given basic sexual education. Students are taught the importance of protected sex but in many cases not educated on the fundamentals of consent. I think it’s important to take this time to inform our young youth on consent, sexual assault awareness, counselling services, Women’s Resource Centre’s and what measures should be taken if a sexual assault occurs. In many cases, people may argue that is up to family members to educate students on these resources, awareness of sexual assault and consent. However, taking this position is risky because in many sexual assault cases the victim is assaulted by a family member. Additionally, it is not effective to assume each parent will take the time to educate their children on the fundamentals of consent and awareness of sexual assault.

Secondly, I think their needs to be an investigation in relation to why only 5 percent of women report sexual assault, although there are premises as to why the country is at this state I think their needs to be more of an investigation taken forward and steps taken so that women are more encouraged to report. What can we be doing differently to cater to these women and ensure their security and safety?

Thirdly, I think that the National Sex Offenders Registry should become publicly accessible. Currently, only the RCMP has access. I do think there should be limitations as to which Sex Offenders are put on the list based on the context of the crime. Nevertheless, public safety should be more of a concern than the privacy of convicted sexual offenders. Sexual assault is far too apparent in our country and the damaging effects can be life threatening. I beg you to please take the time to sign this petition and join the movement. For more information visit the SPEAK Website https://speaksexualassaultawareness.wordpress.com/