//Youth on Sexualized Violence in Nova Scotia

Youth on Sexualized Violence in Nova Scotia

[su_quote cite=”The male in the photo”]I cannot lie to you and say we all did not rape her, I can tell you for sure I did not rape her…[/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”From the N.S. Report”]Youth noted that having a broken or failing justice system contributes to sexual violence by encouraging offenders to feel invincible.[/su_quote]

In the spring of 2014 I was invited by a sexual assault centre to speak with some high school students at a South Shore, Nova Scotia, school. During the talk the counsellor asked the question, “If a girl is at a house with some boys and she drinks to much and something bad happens to her, how many of you think it was her fault?”

Easily half the hands in the room went up. This was a class made up of about 30 students, all girls but one. That answer reflects very well the sad state of sex education in Nova Scotia. And I doubt the other provinces are any better.

If something ever happens to one of the girls in that class involving sexual violence, and chances are it will, she will more than likely blame herself or say nothing knowing she will be blamed by her peers. To have teenagers so uninformed about consent and sexual violence is inexcusable.

This morning I read over the Youth Engagement on the Topic of Sexualized Violence in Nova Scotia put together by the Department of Community Services and the Minister of Community Services Joanne Bernard.

Minister Joanne Bernard said she was particularly struck by the confusion regarding consent. Anyone dealing with issues around teens and sexual assault wouldn’t be surprised at all.

The report is a step in the right direction and I hope it will lead to the introduction of a better sex education model in Nova Scotia schools – especially regarding consent, rape, and sexual violence.

We can only hope.

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Nova Scotia’s youth have a unique perspective on sexual violence and they want to be part of the conversation on how to prevent it.

That is what over 100 young people said during engagement sessions held last fall as part of the sexual violence strategy.

Minister of Community Services Joanne Bernard released a summary of what they said today (April 29th).

Participants said their understanding of sexual violence andconsent varies, barriers to support and services need to be removed and youth want to be part of community prevention efforts as the strategy is implemented.

Their comments will help shape the province’s first sexual violence prevention strategy, to be released next month.

The summary and full report on youth engagement are available on the strategy website.

Media Contact: Lori Errington
Cell: 902-497-7324
Email: Lori.Errington@NovaScotia.ca

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2015-04-30T09:20:21+00:00April 30th, 2015|Categories: Sexual Assault|Comments Off on Youth on Sexualized Violence in Nova Scotia