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Safety

Some important facts and statistics

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.  

Facts:

  • Out of all reported sexual assaults in Canada, the abuser is friends or family of the victim 80% of the time.
  • Indigenous women are 3.5 times more likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women.
  • 44% of Aboriginal women reported “fearing for their lives” when faced with severe forms of family violence, compared with 33% of non-Aboriginal women.
  • Systemic racism and discrimination affect all Aboriginal populations.
  • The most common form of cyber-bullying involved receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages.

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 bullied or witness bullying, there are a number of things you can do to help stop the violence. Visit the Kids Help Phone website for more information.
  • If you’re being or you’ve been abused, sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, consider speaking to a Kids Help Phone counsellor: 1-800-668-6868
  • If you want help leaving a gang, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). If you’re thinking of joining a gang, visit the Gang Prevention website for information about lies gangs tell when recruiting.

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.

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