Sexual violence is prevalent in Alberta. Ending sexual violence requires a shift in public perceptions. The social norms which condone sexual violence must be challenged. The victim-blaming stigma surrounding sexual violence that prevents survivors from coming forward to get help must be eradicated. Those who use abusive behaviours need to be held accountable.
We must focus our attention on the individual and social conditions that lead some people to choose to use abusive behaviours. Changing public perceptions and social norms must occur before we can expect changes in behaviour.
In order to create safer communities, we need to:
- Rethink traditional prevention strategies.
- Deepen our understanding of why sexual violence occurs.
- Unpack how certain social norms and popular misconceptions condone, normalize, excuse, and even encourage sexualized violence.
- Ground strategies in the realities of sexual violence.
- Work hard to shift our social norms.
- Find everyday ways that we can all work towards ending sexual violence.