It shouldn’t matter what a woman is wearing because sexual predators don’t discriminate based on clothing.
That will be the message at the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre’s upcoming International Women’s Day reflection event March 8.
The event runs 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Red Deer College forum in the main campus.
International Women’s Day is normally seen as a time to celebrate and march, but the CASASC wanted to reflect on the troubles women face, said Patricia Arango, CASASC executive director.
Arango said people need to stop blaming the victim and remove the stigma that women’s clothing is behind the reason they were assaulted.
“The fault is on the rapist – it is not the victim’s fault if something happens to them,” she said. “What the victim is wearing doesn’t matter. They are a person.”
The Me Too movement has put the public’s eye on sexual assault, Arango said.
“The victims are coming out and saying something happened to them.
“We need to keep talking about how it’s not the victims’ fault. We need to be free of rape, sexual harassment and misconduct,” said Arango.
Arango said the CASASC wants to create a culture of respect in Central Alberta.
“We want people to understand we are here for them and we’ll help as much as we can.”