Sexual SOS

Girl

85% of the time when a young person is sexually assaulted or raped it is by someone he or she knows. It could be a date, a friend, a relative or even a member of their own family. It happens in a car, at a party, at someone’s house or even your own house. Let’s be clear about this. Sexual assault is never okay and it includes any kind of unwanted sexual touching—not just forcing sexual intercourse. There are three things you can do to reduce the chance of sexual assault and date rape:

  1. Be clear about what you want or don’t want. Mind reading doesn’t work. Say “NO” when you mean no. Tell your partner “When I say NO I mean it. STOP when I say stop.” If you say nothing your partner might think everything is okay and you want to go further. If someone says NO and you don’t stop you are committing a crime.
  2. Stay alert and sober – Drinking too much alcohol often leads to a sexual assault because someone can take advantage of you when you can’t think clearly. When you go to a party where there will be drinking or people are taking drugs, make sure you have someone who will be your “safety buddy” – that’s someone who will look out for you and help you to get out of dangerous situations. And remember, if you are the one asking if it’s ‘okay’, no one can legally consent to sex when they are sleeping or passed out. If the person has been drinking or is high, they might not know what they are doing and that means they don’t really have the ability to say it’s okay. If you have sex with someone who has not, or cannot, give consent, you have committed a crime.
  3. Trust your feelings. If you feel uncomfortable at a party or anywhere else, trust your feelings and leave. Find a friend to leave with you or call someone to come and get you.

Rape/Sexual Assault

Stop Abuse

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped you are the victim of a crime and you need to get help as soon as possible. For help you can call the RCMP, your community Health Centre or, in Yellowknife, you can go directly to the Emergency Department at the Stanton Territorial Hospital. Early medical treatment can help to prevent HIV infection or pregnancy. Early testing can also show if you have a “date rape drug” in your system. For support or counseling call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or talk to a parent, a friend, a teacher, a nurse or other adult you can trust. If you’ve been raped, it is not your fault. You’ll need support and patience. It can take a long time to recover physically and even longer to recover emotionally.

No Labels

Crazy Girl

Labels like slut, player, stud, easy, dyke, fag, ho, skank or cock tease are just ways of hurting others. You can hear them all the time in school, from friends, in music and on TV. These labels don’t mean much to most people until they are directed at them. Then they hurt. They do a lot of damage. Labels are verbal violence and can lead to sexual or physical assault. When you stop using labels for other people you are helping to stop sexual violence. Girls who are labeled as sluts are often victims of assault and rape. It is assumed that if a girl is labeled as a slut she doesn’t really mean no when she says no. Sometimes people say that if a girl who is called a slut is assaulted or raped “she was just asking for it.” No one deserves to be assaulted. Then there are some labels that make it seem to be okay to be a jerk (oops there’s another label). When a guy gets the label “player” or “stud” his friend may look up to him as cool and in control of his relationships. He may brag about the number of partners he has had and what he has done. All his behaviour really shows is a lack of respect. It’s the same, and sometimes worse, when a person is labeled as a “fag” or a “dyke.” These are hurtful names to call people. No one deserves to be disrespected and harassed because of their relationships with people of the same sex. And, sometimes it goes beyond words and young people who are labeled as queers, fags or dykes are assaulted just because of the label.