Each year, Saskatchewan marks Sexual Violence Awareness Week (SVAW) to shine a light on the staggering numbers and facts surrounding sexualized violence in our province.
Saskatchewan’s rate of sexual violence is nearly double the National average, the second highest of the provinces. Despite this, estimates in Canada show that only 6 per cent of sexual assaults are reported.
At Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre (RSAC), we refuse to look away from the facts and the attitudes and beliefs that bolster sexualized violence in our culture – we choose to see the way it impacts our community and everyone within it, and we choose to take action to stop it.
In 2022, the Coalition of Regional Sexual Assault Centres of Saskatchewan partners – Regina Sexual Assault Centre, Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre (SSAIC), and Battlefords and Area Sexual Assault Centre (BASAC) – released a powerful awareness campaign to mark the week, #ChooseToSee. We challenged our communities to think about the ways sexualized violence impacts people’s lives, often in unspoken and unseen ways.
Each day in our work as sexual violence organizations, we see it – we know that survivors carry themselves with hypervigilance and fight-or-flight defaults everywhere, having unspoken rules to keep one another safe. The personal responsibility of prevention often falls only on those who are at risk of sexual violence, rather than being seen as a community wide issue that requires community wide action.
For SVAW 2023, we are asking our community to join us, not only in choosing to see, but choosing to involve themselves in creating change.
When we acknowledge and understand the ways sexualized violence impacts individuals, we have a choice to make – do we simply see and accept the inequity? Or do we speak up, stand up, and choose to act?
With our continued #ChooseToSee campaign, we are inviting our community to continue building their awareness of sexualized violence in Saskatchewan without looking the other way, while also thinking about personal and social actions that can be taken to create change and dismantle rape culture and the attitudes that contribute to sexualized violence.
Through this week, RSAC, SSAIC, and BASAC will be sharing information of the ways everyone can take action to prevent sexualized violence on our social media accounts, so be sure to follow. As well, click on the infographic below to learn ways you can #ChooseToAct every single day.
Now that you've had a chance to learn about the impacts of sexualized violence and what actions you can take to prevent it, take the #ChooseToSee Pledge.
Sign the form below to let us know YOU are dedicated to choosing to see the impacts of sexual violence and choosing to act to end it.
PS: Check out the SVAW23 BINGO Card at the bottom of this page for additional ways you can take action this week.
Download a copy, and share it on social media. Tag us @rsacsupport to share what actions you're taking.