Province proclaims Sexual Violence Awareness Month

Above: Premier Notley and Minister Sabir proclaim Sexual Violence Awareness Month and announce the government-wide Commitment to End Sexual Violence with dozens of community organizations, advocates and survivors. – GOA Photo

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta is proclaiming May as Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The government sees the awareness month as an opportunity to taking action to “challenge attitudes, promote a culture of consent, and raise awareness about sexual violence in Alberta.”

In 2014, 83,000 Albertans reported sexual assaults. The government says sexual violence is the most under-reported crime in Canada with 95 per cent of survivors not reporting their assaults to police. Eighty-seven per cent of survivors are women and 94 per cent of perpetrators are men.

The government announced the launch of a new Commitment to End Sexual Violence.

“Every Albertan deserves to live free from sexual harassment and assault,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a release Tuesday. “Sexualized violence is a crime of power and control, and governments have a duty to lead, to offer hope and healing to survivors, to make workplaces and campuses safe and to tackle the inequality at the root of this violence that most impacts women and girls.”

The government’s commitment has three pillars: Shift the culture towards believing survivors, challenging harmful myths and building a culture of consent. Improve the way Alberta’s social, health, justice and education systems respond to sexual violence. Support individuals by funding frontline services for survivors and delivering education and prevention programs.

The province will announce a number of initiatives to support their commitment and build on actions taken to address and prevent sexual harassment and assault throughout the month of May.

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