Student forum addresses rape culture on campus
Meghan Roberts, CTV Winnipeg
Published Saturday, February 6, 2016 6:08PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, February 6, 2016 6:32PM CST
Students from four Manitoba universities are discussing tough topics at a forum on rape culture this weekend.
It’s organized by the Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba and runs from February 6 to 7 at the University of Winnipeg.
“Rape culture is an issue on all Canadian campuses and it’s something that we don’t shine enough light onto,” said University of Winnipeg student Alex Ireland.
There are multiple workshops on topics like LGBT safe spaces, colonization and women with disabilities.
Laura Garinger with the Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba, said rape culture is when sexual violence is normalized.
“Sexual assault is a major one that people think of when they think of rape culture. Sexual harassment, cat-calling, rape jokes,” she said.
Organizers aim to identify actions that can be taken to reduce rape culture on campus.
“What we can do in terms of policy-making at the institutions, what we can do in terms of direct action to try and radically change our spaces, as well as what we can do as a province,” said Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba Chairperson Michael Barkman.
One goal is to replace rape culture with consent culture, which promotes safe spaces and encourages respect.
Ireland also hopes the forum will help students feel safe reporting incidents of assault.
“If we don’t know that these assaults or these harassments are taking place, we don’t know how to make these changes,” she said.
The forum is open to all students. It wraps up on Sunday at the University of Winnipeg.