First year. There is incredible excitement, worry and anticipation leading up to the big day: the day your independent life is said to begin. Little did I know I shared many of the same feelings with my peers, who soon became friends. One worry still remained. Leading up to my departure to university I was always warned about the dangers of predation, sexual assault and violence. But how could such a despicable thing happen here? The cruel reality that I soon began to understand is that it does. Sexual violence is an everyday occurrence. The statistics to prove this are everywhere: sexual violence affects one in five female students at Canadian universities. Although not limited to female identifying students, horrifying truths exist in the percentage of sexual assault among LGBTQ+ students and students with disabilities. So how was I supposed to feel comfortable here…let alone safe? I soon discovered the network of support and awareness for sexual violence here at Queen’s. Countless resources like the Peer support center, counselling services and Queen’s Students Accessibility Services were always at my, and any student’s disposal. I was reassured by the support the university offers to students and survivors.

So, to all, come support survivors of sexual violence and spread the word at Queen’s University’s very own Sexual Violence Awareness Week on November 12th to 16th. Events include Letters to Survivors, a Consent and Disability workshop, a workshop put on by Sexual Assault Center of Kingston and a Themed Share Night. Join us to end the stigmatization around sexual assault and create a safe, more inclusive campus for all.

For more information, visit the Facebook event! Link to Facebook Event.