Province to take aim at victim blaming in sexual assault prevention campaign

CTV Winnipeg
Published Monday, November 26, 2018 12:34PM CST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2018 12:35PM CST

The Manitoba government is taking steps to give residents a better understanding about the meaning of consent and who is responsible for sexual assault.

“We want to take aim at victim blaming and the notion that it’s a woman’s job to keep herself safe and prevent sexual assault,” said Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires, also the minister responsible for status of women, in a news release.

“We must place the onus squarely on perpetrators or potential perpetrators, because the best way to stop sexual assault is to not assault someone in the first place.”

On Monday the province unveiled two new posters created in collaboration with Winnipeg Safe City. One of the posters features a consent checklist, urging the reader to assess whether their sexual partner is awake, sober, safe, comfortable, enjoying themselves and actively consenting to what’s going on. 

The other poster offers ‘rape prevention tips’ with the words “Don’t Rape” written across it, in an effort to educate people about victim blaming and showing that it’s the assaulter who is responsible for rape.

The posters will be given to community-based organizations, universities, law enforcement and health service providers. It is also available for download on the province’s website and in print through the Manitoba Status of Women at 204-945-6281 or msw@gov.mb.ca. 

Squires will also be posting facts about violence, including information specific to women with disabilities, Indigenous woman and newcomers, on her social media channels.

“Statistics show one woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner every six days, and global data estimates one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in their life,” she said.

“The time for change is now. Hear me too.”