Montreal, September 8th 2020 – Le Regroupement québécois des Centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (RQCALACS) and its members will celebrate the Day of Action on Sexual Violence against Women (DASVW) on Friday September 18th for its 39th edition, launching a public campaign under the theme “Brave any way… our way!”.
The recent wave of denounciations against sexual violence and harassment in July, brought to light the important issue of sexual violence and the urgency to prioritize the needs of survivors. Although many survivors have shared their stories publicly or privately, it is important to note that most of the publicized testimonials came from people of the white and francophone majority. Thus, resulting in a trivialisation of some experiences and homogenization of others. The challenges that survivors face are plural and multifaceted, yet some are still perceived as less valid. Although this is not the first uprising against sexual assaults and rape culture, the collective mind is still influenced by the perfect victim myth which is rooted in various systems of oppression. These stereotypes tend to erase the experiences of marginalised communities – First Nations, racialized, disabled, LGBTQIA2+, survivors with a precarious migratory status, survivors of incest, etc- creating additional barriers in the search for support, services or justice. The Day of Action on Sexulal Violence agains Women campaign’s goal is to recognize and celebrate the survivors and their journeys, whichever they may be. In order to stay true to their needs and realities, the survivors’ journeys have to be filled with bravery that was not chosen, but imposed.
“I am brave when I decide to prioritize myself
I am brave when I don’t let my pain define me
I am brave when things from the past come up and I have the strength to overcome them”
Respecting public health COVID19 guidelines, CALACS across the province will organize activities to mark the DASVW for the next ten days. The goal of this campaign is to be massively broadcasted. Citizens, groups and organizations are welcome to contact RQCALACS to receive information and visual tools to share in their communities.