Local flag raising held for Sexual Violence Prevention Month

May 19, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By: Paula Brown

The month of May marks Sexual Violence Prevention Month and local organizations are highlighting education and awareness to actively help the community in efforts to prevent sexual violence.

On Monday (May 16), staff members from Family Transition Place and from Dufferin Child and Family Services joined Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown and Coun. Lisa Post at town hall to proclaim the month and raise a flag in recognition.

“Victims of sexual assault are some of the most vulnerable and silent people in society,” said Brown. “We must work together to educate our community about sexual violence prevention, supporting survivors, and speaking out against harmful attitudes and actions.

Statistically, one in three women and one in six men will experience sexual violence in their lives. In many cases they will know the person who attacked them and will not report the crime to police.

The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC), which Family Transition Place is a part of, recently reported that 81 per cent of all Ontario sexual assault centres have seen an increase in crisis line contact, with 77 per cent seeing an increase in requests for counselling and 85 percent saying ensuring survivors’ safety has become more complex.

This year, a significant piece surrounding the month of recognition is the change in name, which previously surrounded sexual abuse awareness. The change in the name was made as a way to incorporate the spectrum of sexual violence against all genders.

“It’s being called prevention because awareness is not enough. Within our community it is everybody’s responsibility to be aware of it, but also to prevent any type of sexual violence and it can be hard to identify” said Norah Kennedy, executive director of Family Transition Place. “We have to think of it on a spectrum because sexual violence is not only a physical assault, it can incorporate so many different aspects and all of it is very damaging, destructive, and demeaning. We all need to be aware of the steps to prevent.”

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