It’s time to talk about the sexual assault of teenagers in Nunavut
"Our schools need to engage all students in talking about this"
Now, against the backdrop of #MeToo, is a perfect time for our schools in Nunavut to begin a profound discussion with all students about male-female relationships.
Can it be that 40 per cent or more of our young women under the age of 16 are sexually assaulted?
Sexual assaults ruin women, turning their lives upside down for years and decades.
The not-uncommon descent into drug and alcohol addiction that follows assaults is a reach for help, anything to numb the horror.
Cutting, promiscuity and other self-destructive behaviours are often the result of assaults that have left these young people loathing themselves, fearful, defensive, but trying to regain some kind of control over their lives.
Young women who have been raped cannot function “normally” at school, no matter how hard they try.
Assaults leave them overwhelmed, confused, traumatized, and unable to participate without acting out. And no wonder.
Young women, who are curious and want to experiment, and perhaps want to grow up too quickly, are often taken by surprise by the effects of drugs or alcohol at parties and are vulnerable to being assaulted. This happens all the time.
The men, of all ages, who provide the parties and drugs need to be held accountable for the terrible damage they are causing, for the lives they are ruining.
Our schools need to play a substantial role in reversing the normalization of sexual assault and help protect our young women.
Now, with men held to account all over the continent for their damaging behaviour towards women, our schools need to engage all students in talking about this.
(Name withheld by request)
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