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Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence:


Sexual Assault is not about sex; it is a crime of power, control and violence.

Sexual Assault is not about sex; it is a crime of power, control and violence.

Sexual Assault is any unwanted sexual contact that can involve anything from kissing, grabbing or pinching to forcing intercourse.

During Sexual Violence Awareness Week, Sept. 17-21, Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence would like to take this opportunity provide some facts on Sexual Violence:

- Half of Canadian women, approximately 51 per cent, have been victims of at least one act of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.

- Up to 75 per cent of survivors of sexual assaults in Aboriginal communities are young women under 18 years old. 50 per cent of those are under 14 years old, and almost 25 per cent are younger than 7 years old.

- In 2003, children and youth under the age of 18 accounted for 21 per cent of victims of physical assault and 61 per cent of victims of sexual assault, while representing 21 per cent of the population. (Statistics Canada, 2005)

- Of the 15,000 sexual assaults reported by 122 police services, 61 per cent of victims were aged 17 and under. About four-fifths of the victims were girls, and more than two-thirds of these females were between 11 and 17 years old. (Statistics Canada, 2005)

- Family members are responsible for the majority of sexual assaults and killings involving young children; the majority of physical and sexual assaults against children under the age of six were committed by a family member, most often a parent. About four-fifths of sexual assault victims were girls, and more than two-thirds were between the ages of 11 and 17 years old. (Statistics Canada, 2005)

- 57 per cent of sexual assaults take place on dates.

- It is estimated 83 per cent of women with disabilities will be sexually abused in their lifetime. (National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, 2004)

- Of those persons who have received care at a mental health institution as an inpatient, 80 per cent have experienced physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime.

- 67 per cent of sexual offences take place in the home.

- Every 17 minutes in Canada a woman is forced to have sexual intercourse.

- 78 per cent of attackers are known by the victim prior to the attack; 35 per cent of attackers are close friends of acquaintances.

- Sexual assault by a stranger is the least common type of sexual assault constituting less than 10 per cent of all offenses.

- It is against the law to sexually assault your spouse.

- Per capita, the rate of sexual assault in NL is 35.8 per cent higher than the national average.

- Only 6 per cent of sexual assaults are reported to the police.

For any sexual act to be considered legal, the persons involved must agree to have sex. Consent must be willingly given and the participants must fully understand to what they are consenting.

Consent cannot be given by someone who is asleep, drunk or passed out, under the influence of drugs; in a position where they feel threatened or intimidated; a blood relative; younger than the age of 14 if the person they are consenting to have sex with is more than two years older; in any way unable to fully understand to what he or she is saying yes. You have the right to change your mind at any time.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault know that is not your fault, no matter what you wore, where you were, whether or not you fought back, or whether or not you were drinking, perpetrators are 100 per cent responsible for their actions. If you have been sexually assaulted contact the RCMP or the 24-hour Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 1-800-726-2743.

Please help Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence in our quest to make our homes, our streets and our communities safer by getting the facts on all types of violence and supporting all violence prevention activities.

Grace Sparkes House one of many partners with Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence will be hosting their seventh annual Take Back the Night March Sept. 21. Stand up and make a statement that you do not tolerate sexual violence or any type of violence by participating in this annual event.

Paula Mallay is Regional Coordinator for Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence, Violence Prevention Initiative, based in Marystown. Inquiries can be made to www.gov.nl.ca/vpi.

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