Sexual Assault Awareness Week (SAAW) 2023 at Carleton University


Quote the Raven: Devon Staff
Student Placement with the Department of Equity & Inclusive Communities

Devon Staff

CW: Sexual Assault and Gender-Based Violence

When it comes to the conversation around reducing sexual and gender-based violence, understanding consent is key. Consent is about respect. Consent is about respecting someone’s choices and autonomy. Ensuring consent is given, means you are holding someone in high enough regard that you equally weigh their desires alongside your own. Consent is ongoing and can be withdrawn for anything at any time. Consent is never hard to get, when it is freely given.

Our Campus, Our Safety Report

Throughout this week, we aim to engage and challenge the Carleton community to have conversations about sexual violence and its impact on campus while raising awareness about the realities of those who are disproportionality impacted.

On campuses across Canada in 2019, gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported being subjected to discrimination based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation at twice the rate of heterosexual students. Transgender students (40%) also reported disproportionate rates of this type of discrimination compared to cisgender students (17%).

The Our Campus, Our Safety Report was published August 2022 by student leaders from campuses across Canada. This report is a call to action for institutions and local, provincial and federal governments to work towards addressing and preventing sexual violence on campuses.

Sexual Assault Awareness Week Plans

Monday, January 23 to Friday, January 27, 2023 is Sexual Assault Awareness Week (SAAW) and Carleton University is just one of the many campuses holding events to empower survivors and educate the public. CU’s Sexual Assault Support Centre has worked with many campus and community partners to organize a variety of events and workshops, both in-person and virtually, throughout the week to create space and opportunities for dialogue, provide inclusive care for survivors, and to bring greater awareness to sexual assault and gender-based violence.

On Thursday, January 26, 2023 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., join us online for Stories Spark Change: An Evening with adrienne maree brown, hosted by Keneisha Charles. Celebrated black feminist writer, activist and facilitator, adrienne maree brown and poet, activist and social work student Keneisha Charles will collaborate together to discuss how healing, pleasure and accountability interact and lead towards building a world based on consent.

adrienne maree brown grows healing ideas in public through her multi-genre writing, her music and her podcasts. Informed by 25 years of movement facilitation, somatics, Octavia E Butler scholarship and her work as a doula, adrienne has nurtured Emergent Strategy, Pleasure Activism, Radical Imagination and Transformative Justice as ideas and practices for transformation. She is the author/editor of seven published texts and the founder of the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, where she is now the writer-in-residence. Register online for the Stories Spark Change event.

This year, an art piece by Stephanie Babij will be present throughout the week in our posters, social media and a physical banner. Titled Growing Roots, this art piece symbolizes the intention of coming home to oneself. It aptly characterizes the yearning to strength connection to the land, to the body, and most importantly to feel held or carried. This piece was created in a time of isolation and out of a desire to cultivate a sense of safety and comfort within the body.

The art piece will be the center of a living mosaic that will travel between events and will give students the opportunity to share words of affirmation and write letters to survivors. This piece will be hung in our SASC quiet space for students as a reminder that they are not alone.

Through these various events, we are excited to engage and open conversation about sexual violence and prevention to help our Carleton community build a deeper understanding and learn how to be supportive community members. Some other events to look forward to are Plant Potting in Residence, DIY self-care kits, a self-compassion workshop for survivors, keynote speaker adrienne maree brown and a paint night. The full schedule of events is on the Equity website.

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