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June 09, 2016

Christy Clark's #ShoutOut4Survivors

“Sexual violence is common. Unfortunately, so is staying silent about it. Our silence makes it easier for those who wish to harm us. We don’t share our stories, we don’t think anyone would care much if we did, and then we live with the warped impression that we are alone in our fear and shame.” –Christy Clark

Today Premier Christy Clark has identified herself as a survivor of sexualized violence. She explained that her own experiences as a child and teenager led her to support the recent bill that would require postsecondary schools to have sexual assault policies.  

In making her statement and supporting a bill introduced by the Opposition, Clark is sending a very clear message: violence against women is not a partisan issue. It affects virtually every single woman and girl in our society, including our Premier.

When our province’s own Premier comes forward with her own story of sexualized violence we have taken a small step to coming closer to a world in which survivors can share their stories without shame or fear of judgment.

Clark is not alone in staying silent about sexualized violence for decades. The shame and the stigma around sexual assault are strong and widespread. Survivors need to know that they will have the support of their communities and the people in their lives in order to be able to speak up.

Now is the time to show that support and to speak up.  

“Shame is painful. It’s also pervasive and isolating, but the capacity to survive and heal is achievable through the sharing of our experiences. Let’s build a community where women and men who have dealt with sexual violence can feel safe and comfortable talking about it. Let’s build strength in numbers. Let’s help the institutions where we work, go to school and live our everyday lives, understand the breadth of this problem.” –Christy Clark

If you have experienced physical or sexual violence you can call 604-583-1295 to access Surrey Women’s Centre’s S.M.A.R.T. program services. We are available 24/7 because we know that the earlier we can intervene in situations involving violence against women, the safer women and girls will be, and the earlier they will have access to the support they need to heal.

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