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‘We’re listening’: Campaign aims to help combat sexual violence on Quebec higher education campuses

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A campaign was launched Tuesday at Concordia University with the aim to educate, inform and spread awareness about sexual violence in higher education institutions.

Spearheaded by Concordia University’s Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP), On s’ecoute includes a website with training on sexual consent and four video clips featuring testimonies of victims of sexual violence and experts sharing their knowledge on the issue.

It also has an interactive map to help victims locate resources.

The project was created by Léa Clermont-Dion, a Quebec author and professor who was also a victim of sexual assault.

“It takes time to change mentality, so we have to be patient, but On s’ecoute is a way to create this transformation of our society and I think it could happen, but we have to keep together and work,” she said.

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According to research conducted by l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), one-third of college and university students report having experienced at least one form of sexual violence.

The goal of the campaign is to educate people on consent and to demystify existing myths and prejudices around sexual violence.

“It’s important for us to be able to accompany victims of sexual violence through the process, but also make sure that people who are in our milieu, people who we’re working with, people who we’re friends with in our institutions of higher education understand the deleterious impact of this,” said Vivek Venkatesh, the campaign co-director and professor at Concordia University.

At the moment, the campaign is only available in French, but campaign organizers say the goal is to get federal funding and have it translated into English so that it can be accessible to everyone in the province and eventually, across the country.

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