Educational Programs and Outreach

NSDP runs a variety of educational programs for schools, businesses and industry. Some of our current educational/outreach projects include:

It's Not Right - Elder Abuse Awareness 

Healthy Relationships - K-Grade 12 body boundariers, emotions, healthy social relations, online safety etc. 

Campus Security - Sexual assault education including consent, bystander intervention, reporting options, supporting a friend etc. Check out our website for post-secondary students in BC and AB HERE

CAMP - workplace sexual assault and harassment education for remote-based camp workplaces. Check out our CAMP page HERE.

What is Consent?

Everyone who engages in sexual activity must legally give their permission. We all have ultimate rights and say over our own bodies and how and when we participate in sex or any form of phsical touch with someone. Below are some reminders about what consent is and is not. 

You can only consent for yourself, you can't consent for someone else

The person must be capable of giving consent:

  • They must be AWAKE
  • They must be in CONTROL of their mind and body
  • They must be SOBER
  • They must feel SAFE
  • They must be able to give INFORMED consent*

*Informed consent means that the person giving permission must fully understand what they are consenting to. They must be able to reasonably predict outcomes and consequences for the behaviour and take responsibility for the decsion. This is a good example of why children can not give consent for sexual activity. they aren't yet able to weigh the risks and benefits, predict consequences and make an informed decision. 

People in positions of power, trust or authority can’t abuse their position to get sex. Consent gets blurred when there is a power imbalance between the two parties, ex: Boss and Employee, Teacher and Student - because sometimes people use these positions of power (the fear of losing a job, missing out on a promotion or getting a failing grade) as a way to negotiate sex. 

WORDS and ACTIONS must be considered when obtaining consent. If you imply NO through your words or behaviours that counts as NO. Ex: if someone isn't verbally saying NO but their body language clearly portrays they aren't into it (laying stiff, not responding enthusiastically, avoiding eye contact, pulling away, crying or shaking) that isn't consent.

You have the right to change your mind, say NO or STOP at any time. No past amount of sexual activity is automatic permission for further activity. Being partly undressed already or the fact that you hooked up with the other person last weekend doesn't mean you can't say you're not into it now.

Age of Consent in Canada

  • Children under 12 are unable to consent in any circumstance
  • With Children/Youth ages 12-16 there is some flexibility for peer partnerships that are close in age. This age group can still not consent with an adult.
  • The official age of consent in Canada is 16 years old

If You Are Being Forced Into Sexual Activity

  • Remind yourself that this is not your fault. The way you are dressed, the fact that you were flirting, your consumption of alcohol - these aren't reasons that you are to blame for being forced to do something sexual.
  • Trust your gut. If it feels wrong and you are uncomfortable that's a sign that it's a bad situation.
  • It's OK to lie to the person. Tell them you are sick, tell them you need to go to the bathroom, get a friend to call you with an "emergency". If you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable it's OK to make up any excuse to get away.
  • Try to think of a safe escape plan. Where is the nearest door? Where is your phone? Will someone hear you if you scream?

Bystander Intervention

Bystander Intervention are tips and techniques that are taught to counteract Bystander Apathy or the Bystander Effect. The Bystander Effect is a social, psychological phenomenon in individuals are less likely to offer to help a victim when other people are present. Sometimes, the greater number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will intervene. Bystander Intervention teaches people safe, non-violent ways to A: trust your gut and recognize that something isn't right and B: interrupt the situation before it gets worse.

THE 6 D’s OF BYSTANDER INTERVENTION

DIRECT: Directly calling something out and confronting the perpetrator “don’t do that”, “he/she obviously doesn’t like that”, “can we not…” It can be recognizing that something isn't ok and going and sitting with the person to ensure they are safe. And if you don't feel comfortable intervening it can be something as simple as staying there and making it clear that you are witnessing what is happening.

DISTRACT: derailing the incident by interrupting it with a distraction: spilling something, asking someone to go for a walk or help you, quietly asking a supervisor or someone in charge to come hang out and watch the situation, asking someone to come with you to pick something up...

DELEGATE:  asking for assistance or help from others, usually a person in an authority position or someone you think is better suited to handle the situation

DELAY:  even if you saw or heard something but didn't do anything in the moment, you can always help support the victim by telling them that you know what happened and asking them if you can support them in any way

DOCUMENT:  recording the incident for future reference if needed, jotting down date/times or filming something with your phone. Let the victim know you hv=ave documentation of what happened. Do not share it without their consent.

DEFEND: Maybe you don't feel comfortable intervening but someone else is, provide back-up and support to that person, stand with them...

The Criminal Code of Canada on Sexual Assault

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