Since very few of you have actually seen my work I felt that it might be a good idea to show you some of what I have done in the past. The project that essentially started it all is entitled “17 Minutes” (pictures at the end!), buy which, vitamin 3 years ago, was statistically how often a woman in Canada was subjected to sexual assault. I found out this statistic shortly after I started working on this project, Laura Vickerson left an incredibly informative (and horrifying) article on my desk about sexual violence in Canada. Did you know that in legal terms in Canada we do not label unwanted sex as “rape”? In Canada we have “sexual assault” which is broken into 3 levels:
- Sexual assault level 1 is committed in a sexual situation and compromises the sexual integrity of the victim. The victim is subject to minor or no physical injury.
- Sexual assault level 2 involves weapons, threats or bodily harm
- Sexual assault level 3 involves permanent and/or life-threatening injury to the victim
In Canada 1 in 3 women will experience sexual violence in their lifetimes, the number in Alberta is even more frightening at just over 1 in 2 women. 17 Minutes is my own stories about my experiences as a victim of multiple instances of sexual violence. From speaking with several activists working to end sexual violence I’ve discovered that these definitions are rarely even discussed in courtrooms, often the conversation just revolves around blaming the victim. Discussing victim blaming, and why the discourse around sexual violence rarely centers around perpetrators, is the next step for my future work.