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$ 250 Giveaway
Sexual Violence Awareness Month

Enter to Win a Gift Card to a local YYC Restaurant

Here’s how to enter to win our #SVAM Giveaway:

  1. Complete a minimum of 5 activities on the bingo card
  2. Enter to Win using the button below.
  3. Let us know which activities you completed. Each activity has a number in the top left corner. 
  4. Submit your responses to our quick question and you can peep our answers in our Q&A
  5. Submit! 

*See terms and conditions

Q & A

There are lots of different ways that we can support people who come forward and tell us about their experiences. Some of the easiest things we can do are just being there for a person, listening to what they want to share, and validating the feelings that are coming up for them. Some specific messages you can keep in mind are:

I believe you

Many people don’t come forward with their experiences of sexual assault because they fear that they won’t be believed. We see many situations where people who come forward are shamed and blamed for the assault. Because of this fear it is important for supporters to realize how impactful the first response of “I believe you” can be for someone disclosing their experience of sexual violence.

It’s not your fault

Feelings of shame and self-blame are very common for people who have been sexually assaulted. They often feel as though the assault was their fault or that they brought it on in some way. One of the main messages we can convey is that the assault was not their fault, no matter what. It is important for people to know that no matter who they are, what they were doing, what clothing they were wearing, whether they were drinking, flirting, or dancing, none of it makes what was done to them their fault. The fault and responsibility of sexual violence always lies 100% with the person who chose to be sexually violent towards another person.

I support your decisions

Sexual violence results in someone’s control being taken away from them. One of the ways we can help people feel that sense of control again is by supporting their decisions. We let them take the lead on what their path to recovery will look like. We strongly encourage exploring options with them together rather than just telling them what they “should” do. Let them know what is available to them and talk to them about how each option might fit best in their life. Once you’ve explored all the options, make sure to let them be the one to make the decision.

There are lots of conversations going on about how to best prevent sexual violence. Often people talk about providing tips such as “don’t walk alone at night” being the best ways of preventing sexual violence. At our centre we actually disagree with the use of tips as a method of prevention for many reasons. Instead, we think the true prevention should be focused on creating cultural change. But what does that look like? Here are some ideas:

  • Listen to the experiences of others. Don’t assume you know everything about this issue. Try to go out and listen to the experiences of those who have been harmed by sexual violence and understand what that was like for them
  • Talk about the messages we spread about flirting and sexualityUnfortunately, there are still many messages out there such as “never take no for or an answer” or “they’re just playing hard to get” that encourage us to ignore when people are not consenting. Challenge these messages and message like them if you hear them coming up amongst your friends, peers, or colleagues
  • Think about the things we minimize or dismissSexual violence doesn’t just come from nowhere. It is built up from all of the ways we ignore, minimize, or dismiss it in our world. Things like laughing at rape jokes, telling servers that harassment is just “part of the job”, or that men just can’t control themselves are all ways that we end up excusing sexual violence. We should look at these day to day examples as opportunities to challenge a culture that is permissive of sexual violence in many of its forms.
  • Hold people accountable. There are too many times when people get away with acts of sexual violence. If you are able, hold people accountable to the harm they are causing, even if they aren’t aware of it. That might mean having an uncomfortable conversation with a friend who thinks the harassment they are engaging in is “no big deal”. But if the option is an uncomfortable conversation or letting them continue to cause harm then there’s a clear choice to be made. Accountability doesn’t have to look the same all the time and it can mean different things, but it should be present in some form.

We all have the power to challenge the attitudes and beliefs that are held within society surrounds the ideas about sexual violence.

 

Challenge your own beliefs: Each one of us have our own upbringings that teach inaccurate perspectives on sexual abuse along with various social constructs within society. These are opportunities to reflect on your own views and the way that they may impact how you address certain situations that happen in our society.

Teach and Practice Healthy Relationships: Talk to family and friend in your life about rape culture and how it affects everyone. We all play a role in how it’s perpetuated in society, for instance the media, music, and language that we consume.

Do not tolerate jokes about sexual violence:

  • How can we take power away from oppressive words/jokes?
    • challenge the oppressive attitudes and beliefs within your peer groups or that you see in the media
    • Celebrate our differences
    • Set an example and talk about how you try to live outside of the expectations of others
    • Practice the use of inclusive language

Challenge myths where and when you can:  

Challenge the notion that women are “objects of men’s desire”

Messages in the Media: Modern culture is full of stereotypical messages that promote sexual assault and sexual abuse. Male hero tends to be strong, unemotional and sexually dominant. On the other hand women are often portrayed as sexual objects or victims. Studies show that these types of messages may predispose men to violence against women.

 

Power of Language: Using language that degrades and objectifies women contributes to gender inequality which is strongly connected with an increased incidence of sexual violence.

 

Speak out: also have these conversations with men in your life as well.  Sexual assault and abuse is not a women’s issue it is a human rights issue. Men must be involved in the solution to ending sexual violence.  Men must be partners with women in addressing this issue. People are standing up publicly against sexual abuse and assault more than ever. Through challenging attitudes and behaviors we send a strong message about what we as a community are willing to tolerate. Holding people accountable and stop putting it on the responsibility of women to keep themselves safe.

It is important to note that trauma affects everyone differently. Whether you are the person who directly are impacted or if you were the person supporting someone through their healing. Our mental, psychical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing is affected and it’s extremely important to take care of yourself after providing that support.

 

Self-care is critical to our wellbeing, this is why it’s important to incorporate strategies to help reduce and manage stress. Please remember that it is normal to have mixed emotions after supporting someone especially through this work. Indicators may take days, weeks or even months to show up. Here are some tips to help you cope:

 

  • Building a supportive community (friends and family) around you
  • Connecting with people within the community, joining support groups.
  • Incorporate hobbies and activities that you love and bring you joy
  • Speaking with a professional therapist / counsellor
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying someone you haven’t done before

*Ask yourself what does self-care mean to you?

*Create a list of self-care strategies that you can refer to when you’re in need of reducing stress.

CONTEST (“CONTEST”) SPONSORED BY Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (“SPONSOR”) AND ADMINISTERED BY Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (“ADMINISTRATOR”). CONTEST BEGINS ON May 1, 2021 at 8:00 AM MTN  AND ENDS ON May 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM MTN . (“CONTEST PERIOD”). 

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. ONLY AN EMAIL ADDRESS is required.  By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor and Administrator. Void where prohibited by law.

Contest is open to legal residents of Alberta who have reached the age of majority in their respective province or territory of residence at the time of entry. Employees or contractors of the Sponsor(s) and immediate family members of, and any persons domiciled with any such employees or contractors, are not eligible to enter. 

One winner will be chosen at random using the Rafflecopter widget. The odds of winning will depend on the number of entries received. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. Administrators are not responsible for prize fulfillment nor for any technical failures. Winning entry will be verified. 

Residents of Canada will be required to enter a skill-testing question to claim their prize.

Administrators and sponsors reserve the right to publish winner’s first name and last initial.

Images included in the giveaway post may not depict the exact prize, and are for illustrative purposes only.

Please contact info@calgarycasa.com for any questions.

© 2021 Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse 

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