November 25th was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, followed by 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Statistics show that 30% of all women age 15 or older have experienced sexual assault at least once in their lifetime. The number is three times higher for sexual assault against Indigenous women and two times higher for people with disabilities.
“Secondary institutions, like all institutions, are educational spaces and workplaces… it is very important for all institutions to know that the spaces that they work in have to be free from violence,” said Anuradha Dugal, Vice-President of Community Initiatives, Canada Women’s Foundation. The responsibility is to provide education about what is and is not sexual violence, sexual harassment, all kinds of different forms of rape culture.
According to a Statistics Canada survey conducted in 2020, 71% of students witnessed or experienced unwanted sexualized behaviours in Canadian post-secondary schools.
“The advice that I’d like to give out is while it can be scary to reach out, you’re not alone… Students, whether if it’s that they witnessed it or experienced it, they certainly are encouraged and supported to come for it, because we want to ensure that they feel safe, and most importantly, that they can achieve academic success,” said Lianne Kendall Perfect, a Sexual Violence Response Specialist, from Sheridan’s Centre for Equity and Inclusion.
On December 6 Sheridan will commemorate the tragic murder of 14 women, The National Day of Remembrance and Action of Violence Against Women. You can watch their live stream on Youtube on Sheridan’s official account.
In an emergency, please call 911 or contact Campus Security at 905-815-4044.