May – Sexual Assault Prevention Month in Ontario

As part of Ontario’s May Sexual Assault Prevention Month campaign, a province-wide initiative to raise awareness and educate about the issue of sexual violence, the Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara is committed to promoting a culture of prevention, respect and safety for all.

This month, we focus on the importance of education and awareness to end sexual violence, as well as access to community resources and support for survivors and their loved ones.

In recent years, we’ve seen social change. More people are taking a stand against sexual violence. Survivors are speaking out. Journalists are adapting their language. Institutions are demanding training for their staff. Municipalities are declaring gender-based violence an epidemic. Increasingly, it is recognized that sexual violence is rooted in sexist, misogynist attitudes and a colonialist, patriarchal system.  – says Loubna Moric, Director of Programs against Sexual Violence and Assault. However, sexual assault is one of the violent crimes that shows no sign of slowing down in recent years, and is often shrouded in myths and silence that can hinder access to information and necessary services.

1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. We also know that people struggling with systemic violence are even more affected, such as young people, aboriginals, people living with functional limitations, 2SLGBTQ+ people, etc. During the month of May, we’ll be commemorating Red Dress Day on May 5, and the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17. Aware of systemic barriers, we provide accessible resources, open discussion spaces in groups and trauma-informed therapy.

This year’s theme, Educate, Raise Awareness, Act, underscores our commitment to ensuring that the community is equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize at-risk situations, intervene and provide support safely. Whether it’s through educational programs in schools, community seminars or online resources, we strive to provide information on topics such as consent and healthy relationships.

We recognize the importance of collective action in creating meaningful social change and ending sexual violence. We therefore encourage community members, the media and institutions to become actively involved and support initiatives aimed at furthering education and awareness in the fight against sexual violence.

Together, we can create a future where we all have the opportunity to live a life free from violence. This Sexual Assault Prevention Month, join us in educating, raising awareness and taking action.

The mandate and mission of the Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara is to offer health, social and community services in French, in order to improve the health and quality of life of the French-speaking population of the greater Hamilton and Niagara regions. Its main activities are: primary and community health care, newcomer services, mental health services for adults and children, health and wellness promotion services, programs against gender-based violence including the program for children exposed to violence, the Alternative Suspension program, the Investir dans mon Avenir project, the anti-trafficking program for youth.

For further information, please contact
Loubna Moric
Director, Sexual Assault and Violence Programs and Community Initiatives
905-528-0163 ext. 3288