Re: Faces of courage, June 15.
I felt both admiration and compassion after reading about Gillian Dent’s ordeal of being sexually assaulted and coming forward to report it.
I have admiration for the other five women mentioned in the article as well. I am also thankful to learn of the resources and support offered by the Surrey Women’s Center, the Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team and other resources available to women who are victims of assault.
However, as with many sexual-assault news stories, the information centres around the “victim” and what to do after-the-fact.
Where is the information about prevention of rape and assault happening in the first place? And I am not talking about the usual “women, walk with a buddy; women, be on alert; women do this or don’t do that.”
Why is it the woman’s responsibility to prevent assault? Where are the groups that are teaching men how to not attack women? Where are the men’s groups that are vocal in supporting women and denouncing the attackers that give men a bad name? Where is the outcry for training for the RCMP, for campus security, and others that victims can go to, so they will trust and act on a woman’s report of assault?
When do they stop belittling the victim’s report and stop treating the women, to quote the story, as “liars, attention seekers and scorned lovers”? Preventing sexual assault is not the sole responsibility of women. Dealing with it after-the-fact is not their sole responsibility either.
RCMP: put assault reports higher on the action priority list.
Men: speak up. It’s time.
Colleen McGoff Dean, Surrey