femifesto is a Toronto-based, grassroots feminist collective that works to shift rape culture to consent culture.
femifesto is a Toronto-based, grassroots feminist collective that works to end rape culture.We envision transformative communities that cultivate a culture of support, consent and accountability. We recognize the importance of media in shaping conversations and want to support those who work in it as they navigate covering sexual assault. We created Reporting on Sexual Assault: A Toolkit for Canadian Media to provide members of the press with the resources and knowledge they need to contribute to a public discourse on rape and sexual assault that is supportive of survivors.
Prison rape: it's a common trope in television and movies. How often is the "don't drop the soap," joke casually tossed around? But what's the reality for sexual violence survivors in prisons? We spoke with El Jones and Mooky Cherian to learn more.
Children and youth under the age of 18 are the most at risk for sexual assault in Canada, followed by young people aged 18-24, according to Statistics Canada. This issue is critically important to young people, but so often, older adult voices are prioritized.
The rate of violent victimization is 2.5 times higher for Canadians who identify as gay or lesbian, as opposed to those who identify as straight. For those who identify as bisexual, it's four times higher. While there's been increased media attention to stories of sexual violence recently, queer women's stories are often left out of the picture.
While cisgender men are much less likely to experience sexual violence than women and trans folks, it doesn't mean that men can't be survivors of violence. We sat down separately with anti-violence advocates Glen Canning and Derek Warwick to hear more about how we can ensure men who are survivors aren't erased from the conversation.
Quite often, visibly Muslim women receive the worst of Islamophobic violence and harassment. And when they face violence from within their communities, Muslim women may be unlikely to report it, knowing that their communities are already over-policed.
While "cyberviolence" has been a hot topic for the past few years, recent months have put a spotlight on the misogynistic and racist sexual violence and harassment enacted online. More than two-thirds of Canadians who report cyber crimes to the police are women, according to Statistics Canada.
More and more, we're hearing stories of sexual violence being told publicly and receiving sustained media attention. This is, arguably, a turning point in the national conversation about sexual violence and gender-based violence in Canada. But whose stories are being included in the conversation? Which survivors' voices are heard?
When it comes to sexual violence, people with disabilities are often the most vulnerable. Research shows that women with disabilities are three times as likely to be forced into sexual activity (Vecova). But where are the stories of sexual violence survivors with disabilities?
When we see stories of sexual violence against sex workers, we often aren't told that a sexual assault happened. The assumptions are the same: that it's not sexual assault if a person sometimes accepts payment for sex. That you can't rape a sex worker you're paying. That the sex worker asked for it. This couldn't be farther from the truth.
Advocates say there are more than 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, but these stories seldom garner national press. And Indigenous women in the provinces report a rate of violent victimization that is about 2.5 times higher than the rate for non-Indigenous women. We spoke with two Indigenous advocates and experts about what we should be talking about when it comes to sexual violence and Indigenous communities.
One of the ways anti-Black racism manifests is the way we talk about (or don't talk about) sexual violence perpetrated against the Black community. While Canadian statistics don't gather victimization data by race, we know that Black communities are among the most underserved and marginalized groups in Canada, making Black women and trans folks among the most vulnerable to sexual violence
"Most, if not all, mainstream feminism only represents a certain kind of person. Of course, we're talking about white, middle class, able-bodied, cisgender women." Too often, says Kai, marginalized communities such as trans folks aren't given a platform to talk about the issues, like sexual violence, that impact them.
Avoid Rapists: Stay away from those who commonly commit assaults: strangers, family members, friends, partners, spouses, co-workers, bosses, clients, teachers, doctors, teammates, and police officers. Be extra careful during peak times when rapes occur i.e. daytime, nighttime, dawn, afternoon, early evening, tea time, nap time.