TAKING A STAND – A rally against sexual assault was held in City Hall Park last week where members of the community

Local rally held to raise awareness against sexual violence

  • Nov. 19, 2014 4:19 p.m.

The paths of City Hall Park were lined with 800 cards dawning the tweets of people from across the world last week who have used the #BeenRapedNeverReported hash tag since sexual assault allegations came forth regarding former CBC journalist Jian Ghomeshi.

The card lined paths were part of the Rally Against Sexual Violence, organized by Matt McKellar, who himself was a victim of sexual abuse.

McKellar said he felt compelled to make a local movement after the firing of Ghomeshi from CBC brought forth a large volume of admittance from those who have been sexually assaulted.

The hash tag began trending shortly after the Ghomeshi scandal and has brought sexual violence to the forefronts of Canadian’s minds. Over eight million tweets from around the world were registered with Twitter in the first four days of the hash tag’s usage.

“It has demonstrated to us that as a society, our perception and reality of sexual violence is worlds apart,” said McKellar.

“One in six men and one in four women in Canada will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. These numbers triple if you are Aboriginal. Being the father of an Aboriginal daughter, it horrifies me that there is a 75 per cent chance my daughter will experience something like this in her life and I want to do everything I can to make sure it never will.”

McKellar stated the organizing of the rally was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting for him as it drew up many old feelings primarily of anger towards his assailant, as he felt no justice was ever served in his case.

He believes the lack of justice in most sexual assault cases stems from the 21-year-old sexual assault laws in Canada, as it provides little to no protection to the victims and results in very few convictions.

According to 2012 data from YWCA Canada, there are 460,000 sexual assaults in the country every year. Out of every 1,000 – 33 are reported to the police, 29 are recorded as a crime, 12 have charges laid, six are prosecuted, three lead to convictions and 997 assailants walk free.

For more information on sexual assault resources visit or call the Central Alberta Assault Support Centre at www.casasc.ca or call their 24-hour support and information line at 1-866-956-1099.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony welcomes athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official opening of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Most Read