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Never Blame the Victim: Taking a Stand Against Sexual Assault

Province of Saskatchewan and City of Saskatoon declare Sexual Assault Awareness Week

Saskatoon, Sk—The province of Saskatchewan and City of Saskatoon have declared May 15-19, 2017 Sexual Assault Awareness Week (SAAW) 2017.

The awareness campaign is promoted jointly by partner organizations Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre (SSAIC) and YWCA Saskatoon. At the heart of their message is a powerful reminder to “Never Blame the Victim.”

“Victim blaming, whether it comes from family, friends, or society is a huge barrier to survivors of sexual violence feeling safe to come forward,” says SSAIC Executive Director Faye Davis. “We really want to drive home the point that regardless of the circumstances, the blame lies squarely with the perpetrator. It’s not about what the victim wore or drank or if there was a flirtation. The perpetrator made the choice to rape because they felt entitled to do so. They alone bear the responsibility and should solely bear the blame.”

The “Never Blame the Victim” campaign created by YWCA Canada draws attention to the ways in which survivors of sexual violence are subjected to judgement instead of support. There is still much work to be done to adequately support survivors in healing, and to create an environment where sexual assault is understood as unacceptable in all circumstances.

“Confidentiality and non-judgmental individual support are incredibly important. When women access YWCA Saskatoon services through our crisis shelter, they get a safe place to stay, counselling, support, and access to a network of wrap-around services. We provide shelter on a first, come, first served basis for women and for their children,” explains Shannon Zook, YWCA Saskatoon CEO.

About Sexual Assault Awareness Week:

Our goal for Sexual Assault Awareness Week 2017 is to raise awareness in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan about the unacceptable victim blaming survivors of sexual violence experience, and to highlight the existing programs and services available to individuals who have encountered sexual violence.

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About the Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre:

The Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre exists to contend with sexual violence and its effects on individuals and the community, by providing support, education, and prevention services. SSAIC offers services to survivors of sexual abuse of all genders. For more information visit www.saskatoonsexualassaultcentre.com , follow us on Twitter at @SSAIC1  or on Facebook at @SSAIC1

About YWCA Saskatoon:

YWCA Saskatoon works in Saskatoon and area to provide emergent and preventative services for women and their families, including crisis shelter, supportive living, employment services, quality child care, and accessible fitness. YWCA Saskatoon is a member of YWCA Canada, the nation’s largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence, and the oldest and largest multi-service women’s organization. For more information visit www.ywcasaskatoon.com, find us on Twitter at @YWCASaskatoon or on Facebook at @YWCASaskatoon.

 

For information about the Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre or to schedule an interview, contact:

Megan Evans

Communications Advisor

306-216-5125

communications.ssaic@sasktel.net

 

For information about YWCA Saskatoon or to schedule an interview, contact:

Joy-Ann Allin

Director of Development & Communications

YWCA Saskatoon

306-244-7034 ext 132

jallin@ywcasaskatoon.com