The provincial government proclaimed May as Sexual Violence Awareness month on May 1, 2018. Action is also being taken provincially to challenge attitudes, promote a culture of consent and raise awareness about sexual violence in Alberta.
To start the month, the province launched a new Commitment to End Sexual Violence. Developed through extensive consultation with dozens of front line providers, advocates and survivors, the commitment brings ten government ministries and community organizations together to deliver a coordinated, province wide response to address sexual violence in Alberta.
“Every Albertan deserves to live free from sexual harassment and assault,” said Premier Rachel Notley. “Sexualized violence is a crime of power and control, and governments have a duty to lead, to offer hope and healing to survivors, to make workplaces and campuses safe and to tackle the inequality at the root of this violence that most impacts women and girls.”
Throughout the month, the government will announce initiatives to support the commitment and build on actions taken to address and prevent sexual harassment and assault.
Since 2015 government has invested close to $52 million to support a range of programs and services to prevent sexual violence and support survivors in communities across Alberta.
“We are pleased to be a partner in the government’s commitment to prevent sexual violence and provide better support to those who are affected,” said Deb Tomlinson, chief executive director of the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services. “Sexual violence is a problem that affects all communities in our province and will require a united effort by government, community organizations and individuals to eliminate.”
- Sexual violence is the most under-reported crime in Canada. Ninety-five per cent of survivors do not report their assaults to police.
- Sexual violence most often affects women and girls. Eighty-seven per cent of survivors are women and 94 per cent of perpetrators are men.
- In 2014, 83,000 Albertans reported sexual assaults.
- Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent. It can involve physical or non-physical contact, affect all ages and genders, and the person committing the act might be known or be a stranger.