Monthly Archives: March 2015

WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

How many times have you done it? How many times have you seen an altercation and walked away? How many times have you seen someone crying in the washroom and didn’t ask if they were ok?

A campaign launched by the Ontario government hits home with its chilling depiction of ignoring sexual assault.

What are your first thoughts when you see this video? For me, it was chilling. Sitting on my couch, completely focused on the TV, having each man look me in the eyes and say “Thank you, thank you for not telling.” This was scary. I shuddered immediately.

While this campaign was extremely hard-hitting for me and many others, does it change your perspective on intervening?

After watching the commercial, did you have a strong sense of awareness? Strong enough that you will intervene the next time you hear the girl in the next stall crying? How long did that feeling last? Will you ask if she’s ok? Will you tell someone?

If your answer is, “Yes”, then the campaign did a great job. If your answer is, “I’m not sure”, then what will it take for you to say “Yes, yes I will intervene”, or “Yes, I will ask if she’s ok.”

Does it take a constant reminder of how frequently abuse happens for people to intervene? What tactics could the province use as a daily reminder, not just with reference to sexual assault, but to harassment, elder, spousal, or child abuse?

What will it take?

Alicia Zabolotney