Big Ontario project to provoke dialogue on sexual violence

sexual violenceOntario is fostering innovation to support survivors, and funding the creation of art to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate sexual violence and harassment.

Through the $2.25 million Creative Engagement Fund Ontario is funding 11 artistic projects that will provoke public dialogue on consent, rape culture and gender inequality to challenge attitudes that cause sexual violence. These projects will include performance, videos, installations and Indigenous art.

Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, said: “Sexual violence is still prevalent in our society and we need to find innovative ways to address it. Using art as a catalyst for social change and public dialogue is one way to help change attitudes. Our Innovation Fund will look to new ways to engage communities in improving supports for survivors of sexual violence and harassment.”

Ontario is also fostering innovation to help address the unique needs of survivors through seven pilot projects; part of the $3 million Innovation Fund. Organizations will pilot projects like flexible employment programs, mobile support units, and bilingual or culturally appropriate intervention methods. The best practices gained from these pilot programs will be shared with other service providers across the province.

The Creative Engagement Fund and Innovation Fund are part of It’s Never Okay  – Ontario’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. The plan is helping change attitudes, improve supports for survivors and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment. It will help ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety and is free from the threat, fear or experience of sexual violence and harassment.

  • One in three women will experience sexual assault in her lifetime.
  • Ontario released a progress report in March on It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.
  • 15 per cent of both the Creative Engagement and Innovation Funds are allocated to support Indigenous projects.
  • May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about sexual assault and focus on the measures being taken to stop violence and support survivors. – CINEWS

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