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#NoTouchy campaign gives a voice to sexual assault and rape survivors

Click to play video '#NoTouchy campaign gives a voice to sexual assault and rape survivors' #NoTouchy campaign gives a voice to sexual assault and rape survivors
WATCH ABOVE: New campaign aims to help Saskatchewan survivors of sexual assault with healing.

#NoTouchy campaign founder Shannon Lea wants to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and promote positive change for survivors. The campaign recently released a series of photographs depicting statistics and survivor messages, giving a voice to victims.

“My first offender was my dad and I was five years old … I have 21 offenders in total and 18 of them are still alive,” Lea said.

READ MORE: Sask. residents fleeing domestic violence can now break a lease penalty-free

Lea was raped until the age of 17, but never talked about it until she was older. Now she’s determined to give a voice to survivors, provide support to them and raise money for local programs – all through her #NoTouchy campaign.

“Know matter what it takes I want #NoTouchy to spread so that people say that’s the campaign that really cares about victims and survivors. In a society where people really should be caring about each other, especially the ones who’ve been through such a horrible experience, they’re not,” she added.

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#NoTouchy Campaign
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#NoTouchy Campaign
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Lea is also using the campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault, increase access to rape kits in every hospital and advocate for stronger penalties and longer sentences for convicted sexual offenders.

“We as a society really need to step up and not let it happen, but we need to change the laws to do that. The first step is we need someone in government to sponsor a petition so we can put it before the government and so far no one has stepped up,” Lea said.

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READ MORE: Historic sexual assault charges against former Calgary pastor thrown out

Kealy Cheyenne Heeg, who is also a rape survivor, is one of ten Infinity Models sharing their story for the campaign.

“The biggest thing that I want for this campaign is for anyone who has been sexually assaulted to see these models’ stories and see my story and know they aren’t alone. This is someone who has not only survived the situation but flourished. If she can I can,” Heeg explained.

Rape survivor: Kealy Cheyenne Heeg.
Rape survivor: Kealy Cheyenne Heeg. Courtesy: #NoTouchy Campaign

Using funds from merchandise sales, Lea is hoping that she’ll be able to open healing centres in the province so survivors will have better access to resources and know there’s a community that supports them.