Target: Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan
Goal: Revise biased anti-sexual assault ads that characterize women solely as victims and men as only aggressors.
The government of Saskatchewan has launched a blatantly sexist ad campaign designed to encourage bystanders to intervene when they see possible sexual abuse or violence. While the ad campaign, which is to be shown on televisions and in movie theaters, has an overall positive message, its portrayal of women as always victims and men as always aggressors is inaccurate and harmful. The video shows a series of men making unwanted advances on women, including a man taking advantage of a drunk female and a group of teenage boys photographing a girl in secret.
These ads will be seen by much of the province’s youth, who can have an incomplete or uninformed view of what exactly constitutes sexual assault. According to Statistics Canada, 60 percent of all sexual abuse happens to youth and young men are 2.5 times more likely than women to be victimized in an institutional setting such as a school or church. By failing to paint a complete picture of sexual assault, the government could discourage young men from recognizing and reporting such crimes when they occur.
While it is true that the majority of sexual assault victims are women, men make up nearly 10 percent of all reported sexual assault victims in Canada, which is not an insignificant percentage. In order to protect vulnerable young men, the ads should also portray examples of common ways that men are victimized. Sign the petition below to ask that the sexist and inaccurate #WhoWillYouHelpSK campaign be revised.
Dear Premier Brad Wall,
Saskatchewan has recently launched a sexual assault awareness campaign designed to encourage the public to intervene when they see sexual violence or abuse. While the message of this ad is laudable, it fails to portray a fair depiction of sexual crime by representing women as the victims and men as the aggressors 100 percent of the time.
This paints an incomplete and inaccurate picture and could be harmful to youth who are not fully aware of what exactly may constitute sexual assault. Sixty percent of sexual assault happens to youth and young men are 2.5 times more likely than young women to be victimized in an institutional setting. It is imperative that the government protect young men as well, instead of merely vilifying them. We, the undersigned, demand that the sexist ad campaign be amended in order to protect all citizens equally.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Government of Saskatchewan