Your favourite artist is dropping a new album in just a few days. But they’re also on trial for assaulting their girlfriend. Do you still download the album?
You’re out partying when a wasted friend of yours leaves the bar with some guy she just met. Do you stay and keep dancing?
These are some of the questions Ontarians are being asked as part of a new campaign called ‘Draw the Line’. It’s a bilingual, interactive campaign that uses ‘What would you do?’ type scenarios to engage anyone and everyone in a dialogue about sexual violence.
Launched in May as part of ‘Sexual Assault Awareness Month’, the campaign was created by Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.
The campaign includes a website, postcard style pamphlets, posters and a user guide.
If you head to draw-the-line.ca, you’re asked to answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to a series of 6 real-life scenarios. The scenarios vary from workplace sexual harassment to sexting. You can then compare where your answer stacks up with the rest of Ontario.
But the campaign is about more than just education; it’s also about prevention.
Once you’ve answered the question, you get a ton of information about how you can intervene should you witness a similar situation.
It’s easy to say ‘Yeah, I don’t stand for violence.’ But then when asked ‘Okay, so what would you practically do in that moment?’ most people don’t know. They don’t have the answer. Draw-the-line.ca wants to change that.
The campaign aims to give people real, practical, tangible things they can do when they witness sexual violence.
So, you hear your boss tell a co-worker that her legs look great in that skirt. Do you go back to your desk? Or do you respond?
Why draw the line here?
Because if you ask a woman about sexual harassment, almost half will say they have experienced it at work. Sexual harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed and unasked-for behavior of a sexual nature.
Okay, so I want to make a difference but I don’t know how.
Good news! There’s always more than one option for a bystander. Take a stand safely and do something you feel comfortable with. You could:
- Call them out and tell them you think it’s unacceptable.
- Call Human Resources and tell them there’s no place for sexual violence in the workplace.
- Check in with your co-worker and ask if they’re okay.
When asked whether they’d speak up about sexual harassment in the workplace, 48% of respondents on the site said NO. Yikes! Even worse than that, currently 68% of respondents would let a wasted friend leave the bar with some stranger she just met.
Clearly, we’ve got a lot of work to do to end sexual violence in Ontario. There continues to exist far too many myths about what it looks like and who it impacts.
Draw the Line’s goal is to educate Ontarians on how to spot sexual violence and empower them to make a difference.
One in three Canadian women and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. It is time for Ontario to draw the line.
We must work together to make our communities safer.
For more information about the campaign or to request material: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.traconsleslimites.ca (en français)