How Do You Want to Disrupt the Status Quo?
Sexual Assault Awareness Month in January 2017 started with the Women’s March on Washington, women walked together in resistance protesting the blatant misogyny while setting the tone for the year to come. Twenty thousand women attended here locally in Vancouver at the march.
We saw 2017 end with women calling out sexual harassment and assault under the banner of the #MeToo movement gaining mainstream status as a movement on social media. #MeToo, has created space for millions of women to come together and tell their own stories. Social media has made it possible for women’s voices and stories to be amplified. Despite where a woman is geographically, or her circumstance, social media has made it possible to disrupt the power structures that have tried to keep us silent, maintaining the status quo. #MeToo stories that have shown how widespread and institutionalized misogyny and male violence are –women’s stories ultimately will help us end the culture of violence against women.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2018, let’s talk about the Individuals who work in the legal system and criminal system and how they add to a culture of shame and perpetuate myths around sexual assault. In their almost two-year-long investigation, Unfounded, The Globe and Mail reported on how police routinely deemed sexual assault unfounded and failed to investigate.
Let’s talk about how on a daily basis, women have to navigate in a world where sexual violence is prevalent. And while not every woman feels safe to share her story online through #MeToo – everyday women do “say something” to women’s organizations, like BWSS.
Let’s continue to take action after hearing women’s stories! It’s not enough to talk about sexual violence after the fact; the focus needs to be on preventing the violence in the first place and ensuring that there are support services and advocacy available for survivors.
Let’s end violence against women and girls by shifting the culture and focusing on perpetrators rather than on women. Let’s end violence against women and girls by focusing on the systemic changes that need to happen instead of the actions or reactions of women.
Did you know that 80% of women who access our services disclose sexual violence in their intimate partner relationships and virtually all do not report sexual violence to the police? Every day our crisis team works as a first responder on the frontline supporting women based on her needs, meeting her where she is at.
And the resistance continues this Saturday, January 20 2018, at the Women’s March 2018. Keep the momentum going and join us at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory. The BWSS #kNOwMore team will be there and Angela Marie MacDougall, BWSS Executive Director will speak at 10:50AM Saturday morning. Don’t miss this opportunity to continue to disrupt the status quo.