Sydney Morton/Capital News                                UBC Okanagan student, Temi Adeyemi hands out buttons, shirts and talks to students about sexual violence on campus

Sydney Morton/Capital News UBC Okanagan student, Temi Adeyemi hands out buttons, shirts and talks to students about sexual violence on campus

UBC Okanagan student raises awareness about sexual violence on campus

Temi Adeyemi spoke out about why students should raise their voices against sexual violence

It’s a sentence no one wants to hear someone they love say: “I was raped.”

Fear shot into her heart when Temi Adeyemi’s friend told her she was raped on Friday night. She quickly took action and contacted the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office to raise awareness.

“I am a woman, and I am a part of a marginalized group in this country and felt so passionate about taking a stand and giving people a voice who may not have a voice, or may not be confident enough to,” Adeyemi said. “I can’t just sit by and do nothing.”

Adeyemi set up a booth in the courtyard Wednesday at the UBC Okanagan campus handing out buttons, t-shirts and talking to students about why it is important to raise their voices against sexual violence.

“When I was posting about the rally on social media people told me that I have their support and I was receiving lots of messages from survivors that typed out their stories… it was a beautiful thing to see.”

RELATED: Trudeau, cabinet should denounce mocking of Blasey Ford: advocates

The stories gave Adeyemi the fire she needed to know she was doing the right thing. Adeyemi says that the university has come a long way over her four years as a student but that students that are victims of sexual assault still don’t know about the services on campus that they can access.

In December of last year, the SVRPO moved into the Nicola Townhome where Shilo St. Cyr, director of the office welcomes survivors through their door.

“I see survivors come in and there’s so much resilience and power, being there beside them, listening to them and supporting them… I love the work that I do,” said St. Cyr.

“We know sexual violence has been pervasive in our community and UBC knew (survivors) were accessing counselling, and the Elizabeth Fry Society and other resources to get their needs met but SVRPO was created to be a one-stop place where you can come and share your story once and be fully supported.”

The one-on-one support driven office has issued a campaign called “We believe you” to stress the importance of believing anyone that comes forward and says that they have been raped.

“The campaign is really about the fact that there are so many barriers, and we know this, there is so much research on this. Only 10 per cent of survivors report it to police and so we really wanted a place where survivors could come and that they will be believed if they access SVRPO.”

An important part of the initiative is the solidarity cards, where survivors can write notes to others as they access the services telling them that they are not alone and are supported.

In a report by Statistics Canada, the vast majority of sexual assault victims are women. Victims between the ages of 15-24 account for nearly half of all sexual assault incidents. The rate of sexual assault is considerably higher for young Canadians.

St. Cyr listed recommendations to practice prevention:

• Believe survivors, tell them that it is not their fault

• Listen to them

• If you hear things that normalize and trivialize rape, or that reinforce sexual violence on social media, at the coffee shop step in and saying something about why that isn’t okay

• Think about the music and messages we consume around sexual violence

Visit SVRPO’s website for more information or visit their office.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
UBCO introduces another reading break in November

The break only affects the Okanagan campus

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

All Regional District of Central Okanagan residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks as of March 1, 2021. The program runs until the end of December. (Black Press file photo)
Central Okanagan residents to benefit from yard waste pickup

Will happen every two weeks until end of December

Photo: Dave Ogilvie
Taxi involved in 3 vehicle crash in West Kelowna

The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Monday

High Road at Clifton Road. Google.
City of Kelowna takes High Road pump station above ground

Work will begin this week on the Skyline Pump Station

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

An injured skier was helivaced from Apex Mountain Resort to Kelowna General Hospital Monday, March, 2021. (Linda Geggie / Facebook)
Injured skier helivaced from Apex Mountain Resort

The skier was taken to Kelowna General Hospital

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Most Read