Sexual assault reports on the rise in Saskatoon with possible link to #MeToo

Click to play video: 'The impact of the #MeToo movement in Saskatoon'
The impact of the #MeToo movement in Saskatoon
WATCH ABOVE: The #MeToo movement has seen a number of women come forward with sexual assault or harassment complaints. Wendy Winiewski looks at the impact it has had in Saskatoon and whether the movement will have a lasting impact – Dec 6, 2017

Silence breakers – they’re TIME magazine‘s Person of the Year. In 2017, thousands of people bravely disclosed being sexually assaulted or harassed with the hashtag #MeToo.

Jorgina Sunn, 41, disclosed years ago.

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“My history of being sexually assaulted and sexually abused started when I was a baby growing up in the foster care system.”

In her teenage years, the abuse would escalate to rape, leading her down a dark path.

“It manifested into drug and alcohol addiction,” Sunn explained.

She’s turned her life around after eventually finding the strength to talk about what she’d been hiding for so long.

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“You know that actually came from hearing other people share their stories about being assaulted.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon police looking at new approach to sexual assault cases

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It’s a snowball effect seen globally after Hollywood superstars began calling out those who’d sexually harassed or assaulted them.

Solidarity was evident as thousands followed suit in disclosing, with the #MeToo hashtag on social media, culminating on Wednesday when TIME magazine named the 2017 Person of the Year.

TIME magazine selects ‘silence breakers’ as 2017’s Person of the year. Courtesy: TIME Magazine

In the month of October when #MeToo began trending, the Saskatoon Police Service received 43 reports of sexual assault, a jump compared to the previous month when 27 were reported and nearly double the 22 sexual assaults reported the previous October.

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The trend continues at the Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre (SSAIC). There’s been a 19 per cent increase in clients at the SSAIC and, according to its executive director, it began when allegations against Jian Ghomeshi surfaced.

“Maybe we’re at the place where it’s not just a women’s movement but it’ll be a people’s movement to make a change,” SSAIC executive director Faye Davis said.

That, according to Sunn, is key.

“It’s only good if something is going to come from it.”

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