Lawmakers in Nova Scotia, Canada are making serious efforts to combat sexual violence, including funding community groups to work to bring awareness to the cause. The CBC reports that since the province’s sexual violence strategy began two years ago, Nova Scotia has spent $1.25 million on community grants, provided 211 and 811 phone operators with special training, and struck an interdepartmental committee aimed at streamlining government policies related to sexual violence.
One of the groups that received funding, Youth Art Connection, includes 14-year-old Kayley Dixon who read “A Touch of Sexual Assault,” a powerful and chilling poem she wrote about what it’s like being a teen girl today, at a press conference announcing more funding for the sexual violence strategy.
As a mom of a daughter, Dixon’s words cut me to the core. As a woman, I must admit they sound all too familiar. Just last week while I was taking a walk in my yoga pants and t-shirt, I got catcalled in a lewd way by a guy on a motorcycle. It was demeaning. I have a 9-year-old daughter, and the fact that she’s growing up in a world where internet porn is freely and readily available scares me to death. Her male peers will most likely start seeing her as an object much earlier than mine did, because statistics show they will be exposed to porn much earlier than my own male peers were.
Moms, we CANNOT ignore this…take Kayley’s poem to heart, and talk to your daughters AND sons about it. Doing OUR part to end sexual violence means raising our kids to view each other with RESPECT—and nothing less.