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Kendra MacKinnon, community coordinator at the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre, left, and Margaret Mauger, executive director and counseling therapist, with the centre’s new display sign.
©Lynn Curwin/Truro Daily News
You probably walk past survivors of sexual assault every day – even some who still experience assault regularly.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre (CSAC) is trying to raise awareness around the issue and share information on prevention.
“People are still surprised by some of the facts,” said Margaret Mauger, executive director and counselling therapist at the CSAC. “Eighty per cent of the time people are assaulted by someone they know. Being betrayed by someone they knew and trusted adds to the trauma.”
She said a lot of people think it’s just a women’s issue but about 30 per cent of their clients are male.
This year’s SAAM theme is “Engaging New Voices” and people who work in the field are encouraged to identify key leaders who will influence change and spread messages throughout the year.
To help spread the word, the CSAC is holding two Jam for SAAM open mic events this month and people are invited to join in with music, acting, magic or other creative arts. A SAAM Walk is also being held.
April 19 - Jam for SAAM open mic, with youth group BLAST at the Truro Library 6-8 p.m.
April 22 - Jam for SAAM open mic at the Give Back Cafe 3-5 p.m.
April 28 - SAAM Walk/March - Leaving from Glengarry Best Western Hotel at 3 p.m., walking to Prince Street, to Farmer's Market for open mic/coffee house. (Truro Police will be assisting and participating.)
In Canada, there are an estimated 460,000 sexual assaults per year.
Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults in Canada, it’s estimated 997 assailants walk free:
– 33 are reported to police
– 12 have charges laid
– 6 are prosecuted
– 3 lead to conviction
Source: Johnson, ‘Limits of a Criminal Justice Response: Trends in Police and Court Processing of Sexual Assault,’ in Sheehy, Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activism, 2012.