Tagged: consent

#MeToo so #NowWhat? by Kathryn Anderson

“So you can see how the passive voice has a political effect. It shifts the focus off of men and boys and onto girls and women…it’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at the term ‘violence against women,’ nobody is doing it to them. It just happens to them…men aren’t even a part of it!” Jackson Katz

I read this quote as part of a post shared on Facebook in the wake of the #MeToo campaign that has been so pervasive across social media this past couple of weeks. MeToo originated over a decade ago with black activist Tarana Burke and has seen its recent resurgence due to a Tweet sent out by actor Alyssa Milano following news coverage of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

One of the original intentions communicated by Burke when she initiated MeToo 10+ years ago was “empowerment through empathy” – particularly to let women of colour know that they were not alone in these circumstances of sexual harassment and assault. In an interview with Ebony magazine, Burke said, “the power of using ‘me too’ has always been in the fact that it can be a conversation starter or the whole conversation ― but it was us talking to us”. Now “us” has become a much wider context with the passage of time and the advent of social media.

The sheer magnitude of #MeToo on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms has been overwhelming for many, myself included. I’ve heard from several people that they were not prepared for what such widespread disclosure would bring up for them emotionally, whether they had experienced sexual assault/harassment directly or it had happened to someone they knew and cared about.

In one regard it can be helpful to feel a sense of solidarity with others who’ve experienced these circumstances; as Tarana Burke intended, we feel less alone.  So much so in fact, that there has been a cascade of allegations made post-Weinstein, notable examples include:  Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon, Amazon Boss Roy Price, even Kevin Spacey has come forward to acknowledge his wrongdoing in a same sex interaction with a younger actor when Spacey was 26 and his counterpart was a 14 year old male.

On the other hand, for me #MeToo begs the question, NOW WHAT?  Obviously we see the inescapable fact that millions of women have endured sexual harassment and assault.  I’ve seen plenty of other examples from men these past few weeks too. Even so, we are still only seeing a selection of those folk who have chosen to disclose and have means and access to media/social media to do so.

We see discourse has begun…yet where does it lead?  Collectively as a society and individually as citizens, what do we DO with what has been learned?

Tarana Burke points out, “It’s beyond a hashtag. It’s the start of a larger conversation and a movement for radical community healing. Join us. #metoo

We encourage you to ask yourself #NowWhat? 

Here are two actions you might consider taking in response:

One is to attend the screening of A Better Man, co-hosted by SWOVA and the Salt Spring Film Festival on Wednesday, November 22nd from 7:00 – 9:30pm at Artspring.  Tickets are $10 and are available at the box office or online.

The filmmaker describes the movie as a “fresh and nuanced look at the healing and revelation that can happen for everyone when men take responsibility for their abuse. It also empowers the audience members to play new roles in challenging domestic violence, whether it’s in their own relationships or as part of a broader movement for social change.”

A second action is to read and reflect on this well-written article by May Warren:

Article: Toronto Metro – A Critical Turning Point, Oct 19/17

Photo credits: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Pedersen [#MeToo]; Dandelion Initiative [#NowWhat]  Follow on Twitter: @dandelioninit

Results: Southern Gulf Islands Survey on Consent and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

During the month of May in 2016, a community wide survey was launched throughout the Southern Gulf Islands on Consent and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. The survey was funded by the Status of Women Canada as part of an on-going project spear headed by Salt Spring Women Opposed to Violence and Abuse (SWOVA) Community Development and Research Society.

A summary version of the survey results is found here:
SGI Consent & Sexual Assault Project Survey Results InfoGraphic

The full report is in the process of being updated with edit corrections and will be reposted as soon as possible.

 

Let’s Talk about *Consent*

By Sharyn Carroll

Rape;  \rap\~ [noun]

The word rape originally comes the Latin “rapere” – meaning to abduct, grab or snatch. Somewhere along our linguistic evolution, its meaning morphed to include intimidating, threatening or forcing someone to have sexual intercourse.

Sexual assault replaced the term “rape” in 1983, under the Criminal Code of Canada.  In doing so, we are able to recognize that assaults that are sexual in their nature are not about the act of intercourse but exist on a broader spectrum. This can include inappropriate or unwanted touching, harassment, verbal threats, coercion and physically forcing, with or without a weapon, someone to perform a sexual act. Using this term gives validation to those that have experienced sexual violence while broadening our understanding of our intrinsic human rights.

Let us not forget that the most important verb, when navigating our way through intimacy, is consent. Every time, all the time. Consent is sexy!

Why is everyone talking about Consent? By Sharyn Carroll

From high profile cases in the media to Canadian students and faculty calling for change across college and university campuses, the term “Consent” is being put under a microscope. Our understanding of this word raises communication to a whole new level in a fast paced digital world where dialogue can be as quick as a text, tweet or even a sound bite.

Consent forces us to slow down and listen to all that is being communicated.  It encourages us to be aware of not only our own boundaries but also of the boundaries of others.  It helps us to understand what has been communicated and to find safe space in which to express our needs, wants and desires while respecting the rights of another individual.  If you’re really paying attention, consent can only deepen our connection to others; after all is this not the common link that ties the human experience together.

 

By Sharyn Carroll, Project Coordinator

SWOVA Focuses on Consent and Sexual Assault

yes no

Statistics tell us that one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, while less than one in ten assaults are reported to the authorities. Most sexual assaults happen by someone the victim knows. (Stats Can 2004)

For the next three years SWOVA Community Development and Research Society will be looking more closely at these issues with their new project Consent and Sexual Assault – Prevention and Response, funded by Status of Women Canada. Project Coordinator Sharyn Carroll will be focusing on awareness and response to these issues on Mayne, Galiano, Salt Spring, Saturna and Pender Islands.

This venture will conduct a review of community knowledge for prevention of and intervention in sexual assault for youth and adults. It’s goal is to facilitate shared, consistent language regarding what constitutes sexual consent and sexual assault under Canadian law. The project will explore inter-agency protocols, policies and procedures for victims of sexual assault and include community involvement. A Needs Assessment Survey and forming of an Advisory Committee are the first stages of the project.

SWOVA is excited to partner with the RCMP, Victim Services, Options for Sexual Health, IWAV, Island Health, SD #64, GISS PAC and other key organizations on such a valuable project for the betterment of our communities.

We are grateful for the support of our Federal Government in providing funding of for this 3-year project.

For more information or if you have any questions please contact SWOVA at
250-537-1336.

Consent by Lynda Laushway

consent image

 

Consent is a big topic in the news these days. What constitutes consent to sexual activity? When and how is consent given? How do we misinterpret consent? These are some of the topics in the news and on many peoples’ minds. This is particularly true for university and college campuses across Canada as our young people head to school in what we hope will be safe environments for them.

 

 

The Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) in Toronto has published results from a survey they did on consent. Some of the results are quite startling:

67% of all Canadians say they personally know at least one womanwho has been sexually or physically assaulted.

  • 10% of Canadians incorrectly believe that consent is not required between spouses or long-term partners.
  • 21% of people between 18 and 34 incorrectly believe sending an explicit photo, textor email counts as consent.
  • 96% agree that sexual activity must be consensual, two-thirds (67%) do not fully understand how to properly give or get it.

CWF has a clear definition of consent: “Sexual consent is a two-way exchange: it’s an ongoing process of giving and getting permission. This means showing—in words and actions—that you freely agree to participate in a sexual activity. This means continuing to give your permission throughout the sexual encounter. You can revoke your consent at any time.”

Though these may be complicated waters for our youth to navigate it is important that they understand consent and do not leave themselves open to anything other than mutual agreement, freely given, in their sexual activities. This is an important part of having a healthy and respectful relationship.

 

By Lynda Laushway, consultant