Local residents can learn more about sexual violence and bystander intervention this week.
Erika Lougheed, Executive Director at Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre, says they see the gravity of sexual violence and the growing need for support for survivors firsthand.
“The waitlist started at about four months a few months ago. Now it’s six months,” she says. “There’s a definite trend of defunding housing, education, healthcare and any kind of power over relationships. Really this is at the hands of the government by virtue of the fact that people are really struggling and when people are really struggling, they’re more vulnerable to sexual violence.”
Amelia Rising and the Nipissing Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee are hosting a speaking session with Julie S. Lalonde, who is originally from Sturgeon Falls and is an internationally recognized public educator and women’s rights advocate, to touch on the issue.
“She’s joining us here in Nipissing to discuss that topic because the rise of sexual violence in Ontario, but especially in Nipissing, is significant,” Lougheed says. “This gives people some tools and tactics on how they can manage this, intervene when they see it, and what we can do as a community to manage this.”
The event is free and takes place at 7 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the Nipissing University Theatre. Pre-registration is required.