Prevention of sexual violence: a group reiterates the importance of a law

Prevention of sexual violence: a collective reiterates the importance of a law

Members of the collective speaking at their last press conference on September 18, 2022.

Faced with the lack of attention paid to the victims of sexual violence in a school context by the various political parties during the electoral campaign, the collective La voix des jeunes compte will take advantage of tonight's debate to reiterate the importance of adopting a law about it.

Last May, an elementary school teacher in Montreal North was arrested for sexual assault on a minor. According to Kenza Chahidi, a member of the collective, this is yet another testimony to the negligence of the ruling class and the lack of credibility it gives to young victims of sexual violence.

“We feels a lack of interest on the part of elected officials. There is still no “safe spaceso that young people can confide when they are victims of sexual violence and there is currently a ratio of one sexologist for every thousand students. There is a lack of resources everywhere within the schools so that young people can feel supported and at ease talking about what they have experienced,” maintains Kenza Chahidi.

She criticizes the lack of sex education and the quality of this teaching when it is given. This is particularly the case for the concept of consent, which would be poorly transmitted, which would make young people vulnerable when it is time to speak and denounce, according to the collective.

An online form to report

The member of La voix des jeunes counts specifies in passing that the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) refused a proposed bill from the collective. It put forward a better framework for primary and secondary schools in terms of management and assistance provided to victims, prioritizing other approaches.

Kenza Chahidi is campaigning to move this file forward. She recalls that 55% of victims of sexual violence are minors and that there is an urgent need to officially adopt a law targeting sexual violence in schools.

“Instead, the Minister of Education has set up an online program called The Student Ombudsman, which is a manager of complaint forms filled out by victims. We are [rather] in a human aid approach based on listening and an online form is dehumanizing in addition to being insufficient”, pleads Kenza Chahidi.

The collective invites itself to the debate chiefs

The lack of concrete political action to make sexual violence a priority is what motivated the collective to increase the visibility of its mission by holding a symbolic march the night of the leaders' debate.

Young people are not taken seriously. For Thursday, we want to sound the alarm on the fact that the political parties do not want to address this subject as an important electoral issue, notably absent from the education component. It's our chance to give it our all and if they don't talk about it, it's because they're closing their eyes

Kenza Chahidi, member of the collective The voice of young people counts

The Thursday's march will begin at the BAnQ du Vieux-Montréal at 5:45 p.m. and will end at 6 p.m. in front of the offices of Radio-Canada. About ten young women will be present and will carry posters to remind them of the raison d'être of the collective and send the message to the various party leaders that “it's up to adults to do the work and make things happen for the youth safety”.

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