YWCA Regina’s sexual assault awareness campaign takes new form in 2021

YWCA Regina is using a different approach to raise awareness around sexual assault with their 2021 Blamé campaign this spring.

The campaign, now in its fifth consecutive year in Regina, coincides with Saskatchewan Sexual Assault Awareness Week from May 10 to 14. The Blamé movement was created by YWCA Canada to draw attention to situations when survivors of sexual violence face judgment instead of support.

In the past, the campaign through YWCA Regina drew attention to sexual assault in public spaces like bars and restaurants. The organization did this by teaming up with businesses in the community where coasters would be used at tables to bring attention to the topic.

But this year, Alexis Losie, senior director of operations and advocacy committee co-chair with YWCA Regina, said the campaign will engage people in a different way.

“What we decided to do was to try and get some of the information out through a QR code on a sticker that is going to be attached to take out orders and online shopping at a variety of businesses in Regina,” explained Losie.

It is an adjustment that was made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Losie said has resulted in residents not being able to dine in or shop in-store where they targeted more awareness for the campaign in previous years. However this week, people who order food or shop online will be able to scan the QR code on their packages using their mobile devices.

Losie added that customers will then be able to find information around sexual assault in Saskatchewan and learn how to give support through a number of opportunities.

“There will be statistics around sexual assault and violence in Saskatchewan and why the campaign is so important, as well as how we can support victims and survivors,” she stated.

“In addition to Saskatchewan’s rate of sexual assault being double the national average, it is known that during the pandemic, behind closed doors, the problem has gotten worse. That has impacted how victims might be trapped in unsafe situations.”

The Regina-area businesses participating include The Bannock House, Moose and Bannock, Mortise and Tenon, The Broom Closet, Rebellion Brewing Co., Malty National, Fresh and Sweet, O’Hanlon’s Irish Pub, Takeaway Gourmet, Vintage Vinyl, Everyday Kitchen, Waterfront Beach Bar and Grill and Lumsden Hotel and Steak Pit.

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