A new campaign aims to create greater awareness and understanding about what qualifies as a sexual assault.
The “Don’t be that Guy” campaign was launched on Tuesday morning in Saskatoon.
Heather Pocock, the assistant director at the sexual assault and information centre, says there is still a tendency to blame the victim in some rape cases and this needs to change.
“I don’t like to have anyone say that women put themselves in this position, that may be in some cases, but we also know that it’s not them so much putting themselves in this situation but somebody is taking advantage of them,” she says.
Ashley Voth, a nursing student at the University of Saskatchewan, says there is often a misunderstanding on campus as to what qualifies as a sexual assault.
“They can learn what constitutes consent which I think is primary,” she says. “If you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, even if you say yes, that is not a valid consent and it can constitute sexual assault.”
Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill encourages anyone who thinks they may have been sexually assaulted to come forward right away.
“If you think you’ve been a victim, come forward, don’t wait two weeks,” he says. “There’s forensic evidence we can gather, we can educate you on maybe what has happened, whether you did have consent or not, we can help you out with some of the issues.”
In many sexual assault cases the victim and suspect are known to each other and in about 60 per cent of assault cases reported to police drugs or alcohol played a role.
Partners in the campaign include the Saskatoon police, sexual assault and information centre, U of S and Crimestoppers.
A number of posters are being put up local bars, lounges, liquor stores and the U of S.