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.
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 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.
For a long time North Americans were oblivious to a problem taking place in geographically isolated places. The television media thus neglected to bring the global climate change message closer to home, and in the process seem to have disengaged people emotionally from the issue. But now climate change is knocking on our doorsteps.