Saskatchewan

Province launches social media campaign to stop sexual assault

The Saskatchewan government is taking a cue from Ontario in promoting awareness among young people about stopping sexual violence and abuse.

1 in 3 women, 1 in 5 men will be sexually assaulted: Dianna Graves

The Saskatchewan government is using this video, following Ontario, to promote awareness among young people about sexual assault. 1:04

On the same day that the Regina police reported a disturbing sexual assault that involved a woman being forced into a car trunk, the Saskatchewan government is taking a cue from Ontario in promoting awareness among young people about stopping sexual violence and abuse. 

The new campaign is called Who Will You Help SK. It's one-minute long video produced and used by the Ontario government. It features several different sex assault scenarios where the perpetrator thanks the viewer for keeping quiet about what's happening. 

"Because it's shocking and it's real, that's the scary part about it. It's all real and it all happens and we all know. I'm sure you know, if one in three women are being sexually assaulted, hey, just look around the room and count the women," said Dianna Graves, who's with Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan.

She noted how the video drives the message home.

"That we're all bystanders, because we don't know what to do. We've been silenced and shamed not to talk about sexual assault, because it's an icky subject," she said. 

"I thought it was right in your face when you watch it," said Premier Brad Wall. "And it asks the viewer a question, 'What are you prepared to do to help?'"

Wall said that parts of the video "when those men are looking into the camera and thanking us for not saying anything" were particularly compelling.

In an effort to reach young people, the government is releasing the video on social media and YouTube, along with the hashtag #WhoWillYouHelpSK. The hashtag is similar to that used by Ontario in its campaign.

Dianna Graves is the executive director of sexual assault services Saskatchewan. (Arielle Zerr/CBC)
 

Graves noted that one in three women and one in five men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

"Saskatchewan's high rate of violence and abuse, including domestic and sexual violence, is unacceptable and has to stop," the Premier said.  "All citizens, communities and government can play a role in ending such violence.  I hope the ads help to cause us all to take action."

Wall made no bones about the fact that the campaign's target audience is young people in the province. Hence the government pushing the video on social media, he said.