Dedicated to the well-being and economic status

of women in the Kings and Annapolis Counties

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Voyeurism

Once again the issue of sexual violence, sexual exploitation and the expectation of privacy has risen. For women this is an ongoing consideration and an instinctual part of their behaviour to question their safety in any situation. Most women ask themselves who, how and why when surveying anything or any place that FEELS like it might be a threat.

This is not developed from a fear base or anxiety but rather from the place of awareness because of the society we find ourselves living in. How many men would even think about searching out new surroundings for cameras or recording devices or making sure blinds are closed before disrobing as a means of protection? The process of thought and precaution are quite different for women!

We are living in a culture where sexual violence is prevalent and very often accepted. The acceptance shows violence being normalized and sexual abuse eroticized. From an article on voyeurism in 2018 ‘The Canadian Press’ said: “Google returned more than six-million results when searching “upskirt pictures”. Some results lead to online pornography, while others were companies selling devices to enable the ability to take pictures from smartphones. UNFORTUNATELY THERE IS A MARKET FOR THESE PRODUCTS .

I have been implementing programs in the middle schools involving topics of human trafficking, sexual harassment and sexting ...the dangers and criminal consequences around it. I think its important to educate the youth with the life long repercussions for victims on their health and well being. Incorporating these presentations to youth on healthy sexual behaviour could be a key to reduce sexual violence.

The impact of these forms of behaviour promotes sexual violence and abuse making the safety of women and girls more precarious. Constable Cheryl, the Community Police Officer from the local RCMP detachment said “I have been implementing programs in the middle schools involving topics of human trafficking, sexual harassment and sexting ...the dangers and criminal consequences around it. I think its important to educate the youth with the life long repercussions for victims on their health and well being. Incorporating these presentations to youth on healthy sexual behaviour could be a key to reduce sexual violence.

While women are well aware of the dangers and most pay attention to try and keep themselves safe, we have to wonder why the onus is put entirely on them to try and ensure their safety. We all deserve a safe environment so should we not as a society be responsible. It is time to end gender based violence and the rape culture we are presently living in by fostering respect, safety, equality and acceptance, building a society strengthened by CONSENT.

The Canadian Womens Foundation and Criminal Victimization in Canada statistics Canada report that:
• About 80% of sex trafficking victims in Canada are women and girls.
• 61%of all Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
• More than one in ten Canadian women say they have been stalked by someone in a way that made them fear for their life.
• In Nova Scotia from 2006 – 2010, 85% of the victims of sexual assault were women and 15% were men.

So let’s become part of the solution by requesting consent, asking for respect, safety and dignity in social conversation and actions; and pursuing a tomorrow free from sexual violence and abuse. Everyone needs to take responsibility for addressing the personal and social behaviours that have allowed sexual violence to exist. Make a point of bringing awareness of offensive behaviour and exploitation of women to those responsible for perpetuating it. Let your elected officials and those in decision making positions know that sexual exploitation and acts of sexual violence are not acceptable and that perpetrators need to be accountable.
By everyone accepting responsibility for addressing social actions and behaviour we can together change the RAPE CULTURE TO CONSENT CULTURE.
facebook

Free Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive our free newsletter and occasional updates about activities at the Centre and in the community.