#AfterMeToo aims to bring solidarity against sexual violence to Canadian Screen Awards

As the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements made waves through American award season, the Canadian Screen Awards will also see celebrities standing in solidarity against sexual violence with help from the homegrown #AfterMeToo initiative.

#AfterMeToo pins will be distributed throughout Canadian Screen Week

Toronto actress and #AfterMeToo co-founder Mia Kirshner says the problem of sexual violence hasn't stopped and solutions haven't yet been found. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

After the #MeToo and Time's Up movements made waves throughout the American award season with powerful statements against sexual assault and harassment, the homegrown #AfterMeToo initiative is hoping this Sunday's Canadian Screen Awards will also see celebrities standing in solidarity against sexual violence.

Starting on Tuesday, small, round #AfterMeToo pins will be distributed throughout Canadian Screen Week, and the group has invited guests walking the red carpet to wear the pins in support of the movement.  

"We hope that people will be wearing our pins and be talking about the problem of workplace sexual harassment," Toronto actress and #AfterMeToo co-founder Mia Kirshner told CBC News. 

"The problem has not stopped, and solutions have not been created yet," she added. "By wearing the pin, it's representative of lending their voice to helping this stop."
Small, round #AfterMeToo pins will be distributed throughout Canadian Screen Week. (#AfterMeToo)

The group, which is aimed at improving culture, legislation and policies surrounding sexual misconduct in the screen industry, also announced a fund which aims to tackle the increased demand that sexual violence support centres have faced in the wake of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. 

Kirshner said the group hopes to raise $7 million within six months. 

"We all know how expensive support service is," she said. "No one should have to wait a year for help. It's not acceptable. We are going to raise the amount." 

9 recommendations to combat sexual violence

#AfterMeToo also released a report with nine recommendations to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Among the actions #AfterMeToo would like to see taken is the creation of an independent, national organization to address sexual violence in the entertainment industry.
#AfterMeToo founders Freya Ravensbergen​, left, Aisling Chin-Yee, centre, and ​Mia Kirshner, right. (#AfterMeToo)

The report also calls for increased funding to support services available to survivors of sexual assault and harassment across Canada, and to help with investigating historical cases in the industry.

"In some cases, we've heard that there's been no historical complaints with some of the guilds and unions and that's probably a sign that there's a problem," Kirshner said. 

Another recommendation included in the report is the creation of a "safety fund" for assault or harassment survivors within the industry to access counselling and legal advice.

Even with the release of the report, the creation of the #AfterMeToo fund and a successful symposium under its belt, Kirshner said there's still much more to come from #AfterMeToo.

"It's a movement that's just begun, and this is critical for Canada to grow as a country and become safer."

With files from The Canadian Press