Consent Awareness Week: September 18 – 22, 2023
Sexual violence is an epidemic in Canada. There has been a heightened conversation about the need for consent education nationally. Unfortunately, only 45% of Canadians fully understand what it means to give consent. Addressing this starts with awareness, action, and accountability.
Possibility Seeds’ Courage to Act project is working with stakeholders across the country to initiate the second annual national Consent Awareness Week in the third week of September. In 2022, Consent Awareness Week was proclaimed in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. Over 70 organizations across Canada hosted events and campaigns to build awareness, educate and shine a light on the importance of consent in our daily lives.
We would love to work with you to establish this in your local community, as well as your province/territory. The timeframe for Consent Awareness Week was chosen because the first six weeks of school are designated the Red Zone, when there is an especially significant increase in sexual violence at schools. Canada would be the first country in the world to recognize and adopt this week.
Consent Awareness Week invites Canadians to have thoughtful, affirming, intersectional and age-appropriate conversations about consent. Responding to rejection, articulating boundaries, respecting bodily autonomy and active listening are valuable life skills. This week is a significant opportunity to reflect, champion, and celebrate consent as a cornerstone of all relationships, not just intimate ones.
Much more needs to be done for Canadians to feel they can be heard and respected for their choices in their relationships, whether on the playground, in the boardroom or in their home. We very much hope that your organization will join us as we advocate for the recognition of Consent Awareness Week with federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments.
We are currently working with community organizations, student unions, sexual assault centres and other key stakeholders across the country to push for its adoption, and we would be honoured to partner with you. Additionally, there are many ways you can participate in Consent Awareness Week:Share resources: So many organizations, individuals and educational institutions have made amazing resources about consent. Let’s share them! We’ve got a great list to get you started in our shareables folder below to read and share, grouped by age and audience!
Possibility Seeds will also be releasing two very exciting resources for supporting survivors during CAW, so be sure you follow us on socials to stay tuned!Host an Event: We learned so much from our panel at We Build Consent last year and look forward to seeing what folks have planned for 2023! Tuesday September 19th is #WeBelieveYouDay, which is a great opportunity to host an event. This is a day to share support for survivors, strengthen allyship skills, and build cultures of care. #WeBelieveYouDay is built on the groundbreaking work of the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, Survivor Love Letter Project and the Ontario University Sexual Violence Network.Further your learning: Consent is foundational for liberatory relations, and no matter how consent-conscious we are, there is always more to learn about how to foster consent in all areas of our lives and all types of relationships.
Take some time this week to read, reflect, and expand your own understanding! Request a proclamation: We want to see Consent Awareness Week declared in as many provinces, territories, and municipalities as possible, as well as nationally! And we need your help! We’ve laid out an easy how-to guide with examples here of how to advocate. Which you can find here: https://www.
Consent Awareness Week is vital to ensuring that every Canadian feels respected and safe wherever they live, work and play. We welcome your participation and leadership to help make Consent Awareness Week a reality.
For more information on how to get involved, please reach out to Laura murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.