Project Lighthouse works to diminish sexual violence through education and support

Every Tuesday Project Lighthouse hosts Scones and Tea which is an event that talks about sex, sexuality, consent and dating. There are weekly videos posted on the student services Instagram page. “We’re trying to create lots of different ways for interacting to happen to get the education out to students,” said Sarah Crawford, the sexual […]
Photo: Jantina Huizenga
The Project Lighthouse website has free resources available to students.

Every Tuesday Project Lighthouse hosts Scones and Tea which is an event that talks about sex, sexuality, consent and dating. There are weekly videos posted on the student services Instagram page.

“We’re trying to create lots of different ways for interacting to happen to get the education out to students,” said Sarah Crawford, the sexual violence prevention and harm reduction coordinator at Algonquin College.

Sexual assault is an issue that occurs in almost every post-secondary school across Canada and most schools have support systems for victims of sexual assault. Algonquin College’s Project Lighthouse is a group hoping to diminish sexual violence through events, education and support groups at the college.

One in 10 women has reported sexual assault in post-secondary schools. More young females tend to experience sexual assault than young men, although four per cent of young men have reported being sexually assaulted according to Statistics Canada.

Many sexual assault cases go unreported as people feel nervous or afraid that they will not be taken seriously. Statistics Canada states that in 2019, 71 per cent of post-secondary students have experienced or witnessed sexual assault.

Julia Timewell, a nursing student at Algonquin College, believes sexual assault is not talked about enough at Algonquin and individuals are not educated enough, which results in unreported assaults.

“They are scared that maybe that’s just how it’s meant to be because they don’t know any better,” she said.

Project Lighthouse is there for any student that has experienced sexual violence in any way. On the Project Lighthouse website, free resources and brochures are available to students to download and print.

Project Lighthouse has a partnership with the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the sexual assault care program at the hospital.

“They will be believed and cared for, there is support available, we have resources on campus,” said Crawford.

As well as their free resources, they have held events in the past and have hosted guest speakers. Between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., every Monday to Friday, there is a peer support group that is accessible via Microsoft teams, live chat or texting the peer support line at 613-703-8883. The weekly videos are posted on the student services Instagram page @algonquincollegess.

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