Manitoulin encourages Islanders to ‘Draw the Line’ on sexual violence in light of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

MANITOULIN—The M’Nidoo Minissing Coalition Against Domestic Violence will be hosting two events this week for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, both featuring special guest Julie Lalonde of Draw the Line.

“The first event will be held on Thursday, May 22 at 6:30 pm at Manitoulin Secondary School,” explained one of the organizers and M’Nidoo Minissing Coalition Against Domestic Violence board member Kristin Bickell. “We have invited all Grade 6, 7 and 8 students from across the Island, in addition to high school students, and are encouraging youth to attend with their parents, but anyone is welcome.”

Ms. Bickell explained that the Thursday night event will focus on youth scenarios, with speaker Julie Lalonde discussing the overall theme of online violence from text messaging to online sexual harassment.

“The second event will be on Friday, May 23 at 9:30 am in the common room of the Long Term Care Building in Wikwemikong (16 B Complex Drive),” continued Ms. Bickell. “This will also be open to anyone in the community, but will focus on all scenarios (of sexual violence), not just youth based ones.”

Originally from Kagawong, Ms. Lalonde is now an award-winning social justice advocate based in Ottawa and  the project manager of Draw-the-line.ca, a provincial anti-sexual violence campaign that targets bystanders.

“It’s important that everyone attend and learn about this campaign because it is all about awareness and education,” explained Ms. Bickell. “Sexual violence is a prevalent issues in the region, and throughout Canada, and we need to break the silence and create an informed dialogue to bring awareness and stop sexual violence.”

For more information on these events call 705-859-3378 or for information on Draw the Line visit www.Draw-the-line.ca.