You deserve to feel safe. Many things can impact your safety including cyber and in-person bullying, racism and discrimination, dating and domestic violence, gangs, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted verbal or physical conduct including staring, inappropriate questions or jokes and spreading rumours or pictures online. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act, including kissing, touching or intercourse (rape).
Any sexual act without consent is assault. Consent can’t be given if someone is drunk, high, unconscious or sleeping. It also can’t be given if a person is in a position of trust or authority, or if intimidation or threats are used. Remember that you can always change your mind, no matter what. And saying no doesn’t require justification or explanation.
Just because you know someone doesn’t mean that they can hurt you or make you feel unsafe. You deserve safety no matter what.
Feeling unsafe has impacts beyond your physical safety. It also affects your mental and emotional well being. Racism and prejudice can take many forms including cultural appropriation.
Bullying, racism, domestic violence, gangs, sexual assault and sexual harassment can make you feel isolated, depressed and even suicidal. Canadian teenager Amanda Todd committed suicide in 2012 after extensive cyber bullying and sexual harassment. She told her story in this video.
If someone is making you feel unsafe, remember that you’re not alone and it’s not your fault. Consider reaching out for help.
If you’re being discriminated against, visit the Do You Know Your Rights? website for quick facts and analysis of the Canadian Human Rights Act as it applies to individuals.