By John Farmer
This is a trigger warning that the following editorial talks about sexual assault.
May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month and an opportunity for us to honestly ask why 1 in 3 Canadian women and 1 in 6 Canadian men experience sexual violence in their life times.
Last November the MeToo movement opened this conversation on a global level. Locally, between December and February Violence Prevention Grey Bruce conducted a survey to find out what our community knows about sexual violence and what services are available here.
The full results are available at violencepreventiongreybruce.com and we've been sharing a new finding online everyday in May.
The findings boil down to this: as a community we don't know enough about sexual assault, what it is, how to prevent it, or the services available to support survivors and help perpetrators to change.
We can't prevent what we don't acknowledge, and we can't acknowledge what we don't talk about. Join us this month by starting a conversation about sexual violence and consent.
Consent means that everyone involved is okay with – or better yet excited about -- what's happening.
We can teach the importance of consent at any age so that everyone knows that waiting for a yes – verbal or non-verbal -is essential, whether you're borrowing a crayon in preschool, trying for a kiss on a first date in high school, or negotiating your sex life in adulthood.