A new tool for preventing sexual violence

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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Lisanne Turner (and Roberta Journeay) offer support, counselling and someone to talk to at the Tri-County Women’s Centre in Digby.

Youth want help dealing with the barrage of hypersexualized messages coming at them through advertising, television, music and their own conversations.

That’s is the reasoning behind the Tri County Women’s Centre’s new project to curb sexual violence.

With the help and input of young people in Digby Yarmouth and Shelburne Counties, they have created a tool kit for talking about, learning about and coming to grips with the hypersexualization in our society and more specifically in their own lives.

“This is a very complex topic and the tool kit can help with conversations about sexual violence and hypersexualization,” says Lisanne Turner, the project coordinator in Digby County. “It’s meant to help youth talk to their peers, teachers to talk to their students and parents or guardians to talk to their children.”

She says the tool kit address a gap in the current curriculum.

“It should be talked about more and it should be taught in schools,” says Turner. “The youth are faced with these messages and pressures everyday and they want to learn about it; they want a safe comforting place to talk about this.

“The lessons and activities in this toolkit give young people the tools to analyse these messages, figure out how it is affecting their lives and how to make healthy choices.”

The toolkit also includes several DVDs with popular music and videos from today and power point presentations to start the conversations.

A copy of the toolkit will be soon be available in all the high schools in Digby County as well as at the Tri County Women’s Centre at the bottom of Church Street in Digby.

The centre is also working on improving the services they provide to victims of sexual violence. The have received input from young women and expect to have a response protocol ready by the summer.

And then the work continues says Turner as they train people to use the tool kit and continue to raise awareness and critical thinking about sexual violence and hypersexualization.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

Thursday, Dec. 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

SOURCE: Status of Women Canada

Organizations: Tri County Women, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Status of Women Canada

Geographic location: Digby County, Church Street

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