A Public Awareness Campaign was launched in October 2016 and was developed with the guidance of a Provincial Committee. The campaign is aimed at Nova Scotians aged 14 to 20 and uses an animated, modern twist on the popular Birds and Bees metaphor to broach subjects like consent.
The campaign consists of 30 and 60 second videos featuring bird-and-bee-type characters animated in the style of popular shows like Bojack Horseman and The Simpsons. It also includes posters and a website. The episodes deal with situations of sexual violence that youth told us they are facing in today’s world. The first 60 second video takes place at a house party and explores the issue of alcohol and consent.
Campaign materials have been designed so they can be easily used by organizations around the province. See the campaign at www.breakthesilenceNS.ca
A free, online training - also developed with a Provincial Committee - was launched in April 2017. Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence: A Nova Scotia Resource was created to help Nova Scotians learn more about sexual violence and how to support someone who has survived it.
This training is for service providers, friends, family members, neighbours, teachers, first responders, counselors, and anyone who is acting as a support person, or is concerned about sexual violence.
The training can be done as a whole, or in parts, all at once, or over a period of time. If someone needs to stop a module part way through, they will be able to resume the training where they left off later. The course takes appx. 4-6 hours to complete and can be accessed at: https://breakthesilencens.ca/training
Sexual violence continues to remain hidden and victims are frequently blamed and stigmatized. Although it can sometimes seem too large to solve, we know that sexual violence is preventable.
With multiple organizations, groups and communities directing prevention initiatives, the responsibility of preventing sexual violence is shared by the collective community. With the long-term goal of reducing sexual violence, we must focus our approaches on ways to stop sexual violence from happening in the first place. This is called primary prevention.
Primary prevention approaches work to change environmental factors and social norms known to contribute to sexual violence (ex. sexism, media and marketing practices, technology, harmful use of alcohol, etc.), while also promoting healthy relationships, consent and fostering safer spaces and strong communities.
Over $1.4M has been awarded to groups across Nova Scotia through the Prevention Innovation Fund. This fund is meant to support community-based primary prevention initiatives, expand best practices, better research & evaluation, and better use of technology; assist youth groups to reach out to peers in innovative ways; support marginalized populations including African Nova Scotians, First Nations, and the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
Funded projects are working towards some of the following outcomes:
This year, grants up to $5,000 are available. The deadline to apply for a Prevention Innovation Grant is December 13, 2019, 5pm.