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.

Just Posted

Only steps away: Gutsy Walk returns to Kelowna

The walk to cures for Crohn’s disease and colitis comes June 2

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Woman in hospital after being thrown off horse

She was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital from Okanagan Falls

Sharp-eyed boater catches South Okanagan road crumbling

A portion of Eastside Road, south of Penticton, appears to be crumbling into Skaha Lake

Okanagan Regional Library hosts famous author

Author of The Woo Woo, Lindsay Wong will be in Kelowna Tuesday

VIDEO: It’s warming up across the Okanagan Valley

Grey skies are expected to fade and the sun looks like it’s here to stay

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Okanagan art gallery releases their theme

Fine arts painting will be the point of focus for this year’s event

South Okanagan search and rescue help injured climber

Search and rescue called on the assistance of a helicopter to help retrieve an injured hiker

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Firefighters respond to bus fire on Highway 1

Smoke in coach bus reported to have been caused by overheating, driver and passengers safe

North Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws record support

Lineup around the block for start and beginning of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Caravan Farm Theatre holds outlaw themed fundraiser

Caravan Farm Theatre hosts its western outlaw themed fundraiser, Hands Up! June 1

Most Read