Day of Action on Sexual Violence against Women

Friday marked the 41st day of action Against Sexual Violence Against Women, CALACS an organization that that helps both English and French speaking sexual assault survivors, marked the day focused on educating Quebecers on the culture of consent.

“It is the beginning of everything, if everyone respected the consent of the other, there would be no sexual assaults,” says Kelly Laramée, a councillor at CALACS Agression Estrie.

Those part of CALACS took a different approach to the day, spreading further awareness to those they may not have been able to reach otherwise.

In a video clip, they ask a older man “ If you engage in a sexual act with your partner but after your partner wants to stop and you continue because the two people had given consent at the beginning, is that a form of sexual violence?” To which he replied, “yes, because without consent it is rape.”

The questions were asked around Sherbrooke, in common spaces like parks, shopping malls and CEGEPS. Laramée says the goal was to reach a variety of people, to understand their knowledge of sexual consent. If they were not well informed, those asking the questions took the time to educate them.

When asked why it was so important to spread awareness, Laramée says it is important, because every woman that visits a CALACS center has had their consent not respected, if it was then there would be no sexual assault.

The day, one that shows support for sexual assualt survivors.

“Sometimes as a survivor, you think that you’re alone and that you’re the only one that went through that. But when there is a day, like a national day, sometimes it helps,”

She says the day allows survivors to feel seen and heard, as well as understanding the resources they can go to.

And while there have been strong efforts to educate the general public, Laramée says there is always more to be done.

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