Sexual Assault Prevention Month 2022

  • May 24, 2022
  • Mariah Campbell

Content warning: Sexual assault and harassment

May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month (link) in Ontario and across Canada (link). Formerly referred to as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the name was changed in recent years to signify that awareness alone is not enough; to effectively support survivors, action is key. This month is an opportunity to highlight the strength and resilience of survivors. It also allows us an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the individuals and organizations that work to raise awareness of sexual assault, support victims, and prosecute offenders.

One such individual that we would like to recognize is Bonnie Robichaud (link). Her campaign against workplace sexual harassment and assault resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1987 landmark ruling (link) that employers are responsible for maintaining a safe, respectful, and harassment-free workplace.

It has been over 30 years since Ms. Robichaud’s case, but despite her victory, the laws passed since then, and the cultural mind shift of the #MeToo movement (link), workplace harassment and sexual violence remain pervasive issues across Canada. According to a recent article (link) in the Globe and Mail, what gives Ms. Robichaud hope is that the silencing and shaming she experienced as a young woman is slowly coming to an end. You can read more about Bonnie Robichaud and her story here (link).

While Ms. Robichaud was not a bakerlaw client, we are honoured to work with incredibly strong individuals who emulate Ms. Robichaud in their determination to seek justice and/or protect others from facing the same treatment. You can read about one of our own client’s successes here (link) and here (link). To learn more about bakerlaw’s work in the area of Sexual Harassment and Assault click here (link).

You can read more about recent steps that have been taken to strengthen the framework for harassment and sexual violence prevention by the federal government here (link), and by the Ontario government here (link).

If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment or assault, and need support or guidance, you may wish to consult the SHARE website (link). This free, culturally sensitive resource may offer some guidance.

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