Most people have seen the thousands of tweets and Facebook posts from women identifying themselves as victims of sexual harassment or assault over the last couple of days with the hashtag #MeToo. Actress Alyssa Milano propelled this call to action after watching Harvey Weinstein’s, a Hollywood film producer and former film studio executive, downfall over of allegations of repeated sexual misconduct over decades. The goal of ‘#MeToo’ was to give people a sense of the pervasiveness of the problem in which women face every day.
Did you know that according to the Canadian Womens Foundation, sexual assault is the only violent crime in Canada that is not declining?
Angus Reid’s most recent study on sexual harassment in the workplace, from 2014, found that three in 10 Canadians reported being on the receiving end of “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or sexually-charged talk while on the job.”
The ‘#MeToo’ phenomenon has started conversations everywhere, including the difficulty talking about it, but how do Indigenous women feel about it? Indigenous women are at heightened risk of being sexually assaulted (Justice) and even less likely to report to the police. Sexual harassment is a lived reality daily. Does ‘#MeToo’ resonate within you the same way as it does for Hollywood’s elite? Or, does it touch on larger issues of inequality?
Let us know what you think?
If you have been sexually assaulted or need to report an incidence of sexual harassment please seek support. Here are a couple of options in BC
• Contact your local Friendship Centre or Indigenous Community Service Provider See the nearest one at https://newjourneys.ca/en/services
• VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-563-0808.