A Toronto private school was sued over a student’s alleged sexual assault. The school’s name was kept secret until now.
GIRL, 19, AVAILABLE NOW
In the past month I’ve interviewed a number of women (who themselves have been sexually assaulted), who say that it is not uncommon – far more commonplace – for their own assaults to be ignored by the authorities and for the sexual violence that is not reported to be under-reported at all. The reason is simple: it’s not acceptable.
The current rape crisis in our society is rooted in the rape culture – a culture that is based on consent, on being able to say no to sexual relations without consequence – and on a system that does not recognize male or female sexual assault when it occurs.
The problem is not limited to Canada or to the US. According to the World Health Organization, rape statistics worldwide are similar to those in Canada: one in five women experiences rape in her lifetime and around 800,000 women are raped in their lifetime.
But it is not just the physical act of rape that must be taken into account when you consider sexual assault in Canada. It is also the social and cultural responses to it.
The first thing to ask yourself is whether you have been the victim of sexual assault. Does it feel like the way you were treated, if you were assaulted, was different because of your gender or your age? Does it feel like you have not been taken seriously when you say that you have been sexually assaulted? It’s always important to recognize the power dynamics that exist in any relationship that is sexual – power is not just the ability to do something, but the perception of the ability to do something.
It is worth noting that as women have gained more rights, our rates of rape have been decreasing.
The idea that consent is a one-sided issue that depends only on what feels good is not true. The reality is that we are only able to consent if we are able to say no. Yes, this is something that men are often told to do; sometimes that’s the only way they are able to say no without