The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre is well into their third campaign this afternoon at Red Deer College, where they have a booth set up to talk about the important issues around sex education, consent, and sexual assault.
This year the theme is Changing the Conversation, with the goal being to shift focus, and often times blame, away from the victims and on to the perpetrators.
As Executive Director of the Centre Patricia Arango puts it, they are taking the focus off of the victim and focusing more on who is actually committing these heinous crimes.
“I don’t want to talk to victims anymore. I don’t want to tell the women, or potential victims, about everything they have to do to prevent rape. The Change of Conversation is talking about how you are preventing becoming a rapist. How you prevent it when you have feelings to do something that is not appropriate, how do you prevent it from happening.”
Arango says for too long victims are told about the steps they can take to protect themselves from sexual assault, while some attention should be paid to those who commit sexual assault, and why.
She says especially these days with the MeToo movement, talking about these issues is more important than ever.
“Sexual assault and sexual harassment is in the media, 24/7, and we need to talk about that, we cannot ignore that. We just want all to come together and talk about how we can prevent [it], how we can protect each other when this happens.”
The booth runs Thursday, November 29th, from 9 until 3 pm at the Forum inside RDC.