EDITORIAL: It’s time to change the sexual assault conversation

The words “Me Too” are taking social media by storm this week, inspiring a conversation about sexual assault as women share their own experiences or simply those two little words.

READ MORE: Women tell stories of sexual assault and harassment on social media

A lot of powerful messages have emerged as more and more women join the conversation. It may be surprising to some just how many of their friends and family have posted their own horrific experiences, but sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, according to Statistics Canada.

Despite an increased societal awareness, the rate of reported sexual assaults is similar to what it was a decade ago. While this makes it hard to compile accurate statistics, it is believed that only six out of 100 sexual assaults are reported.

While anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, research shows an elevated risk for women and young individuals, those who identify as non-heterosexual, people with disabilities and those with mental health issues.

We hope this recent conversation will inspire a larger conversation about the shift needed in the way we treat those that have been sexually assaulted. Instead of teaching girls how to avoid becoming victims, we should also be teaching everyone, especially young boys, about boundaries and consent. Consent isn’t sexy, it’s mandatory. And it extends to every form of physical contact.

This sexist model of putting the burden on women and young girls to set limits, prevent the abuse and then when it does happen, to prove that it was unwanted, needs to change. It’s no wonder a huge number of women do not report these crimes after seeing the way those that do come forward are treated by the public and the media. We shouldn’t be teaching young girls that the length of their skirt makes it okay for someone to inappropriately touch them. And that’s the message that’s being reinforced every time a girl is pulled out of a classroom because her outfit is distracting to her male counterparts.

Boys will be boys but they don’t have to be that guy. And that’s on us as a society to teach everyone from a young age.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Royal Bay student growing out locks for cancer

Luke Eilertsen to donate 16 inches of his hair to Wigs for Kids

UPDATED: More rental homes under construction in Colwood

New housing project underway on Sooke Road for families, seniors and people with disabilities

UPDATED: Health Canada looking into B.C. boy’s treatment of rabid dog saliva

BC Naturopathic Association questions Dr. Anke Zimmermann’s conduct on recent treatments

Westmont Montessori upgrades to be completed this fall

New space will feature larger classrooms, more storage

Get your hands dirty or enjoy nature at your pace

Fort Rodd Hill hosts two days of events for volunteer week and Earth Day

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

Saanich’s Shew sisters win gold, silver at national wrestling championships

Kiana, 17, won gold while Zena, 14, won silver at nationals

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

Most Read