“Behind every woman who reports a non-spousal sexual assault are nineteen women who don’t.”
A powerful image depicting a woman who has experienced non-spousal sexual assault has been put up around Vancouver to show the need for survivor support.
In the run-up to the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Battered Women's Support Services has spread the posters across the city in order to spark a conversation about how only one woman out of 20 reports her non-spousal assault to police.
The first poster shows a woman who has reported an assault, followed by 19 additional posters featuring silhouetted women. According to Statistics Canada, of all sexual assault incidents perpetrated by someone other than a spouse, one in 20 was reported to the police. In contrast, one in three incidents of other types of crime measured by the General Social Survey on Victimization are reported to police.
“Using posters to illustrate this startling fact was a simple way to talk about a serious subject,” says Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director at Battered Women’s Support Services.
“This was our way of getting people to think critically about violence against women and to enable survivors to know that there are avenues for them to access support, outside of the justice system, and that we’re a place for healing and we advocate for those who have experienced trauma or harassment.”
The BWSS is hosting an event at The Orpheum Theatre this Monday, Nov. 25, for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The evening will feature a carefully assembled program featuring Tarana Burke, the Founder of the ‘Me Too’ Movement and advocate for survivors of sexual violence.
BWSS 40 Years Later
When: Monday, Nov. 25 starting at 7 p.m.
Where: The Orpheum Theatre | 601 Smithe St, Vancouver
Cost: Starts at $47 CAD (Tickets)
Find out more information about the event here.