A local agency is showing its support for an internationally recognized month.

The Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland Drug Strategy announced it is going to be getting involved with Sexual Assualt Prevention Month.

HKLN Drug Strategy Coordinator, Megan Deyman, says the organization is getting involved by raising awareness about the role that drugs and alcohol play in sexual assault.  Deyman says “May 1st marks the start of Sexual Assault Prevention Month. Ontario recognizes this month as a time to raise awareness about the impact of sexual assault and focus on the measures being taken to stop violence and support survivors.”

Alcohol and other substances are involved in about 25-50% of sexual assaults reported both locally and across the country. The use of substances in sexual assaults is an important issue that asks us to look at and understand the issue a little differently.

As part of its strategy to raise awareness about the issue, HKLNDS created a campaign it is calling “unblurring the lines” it is designed to draw attention to the correlation between substance use and assault. A goal of the campaign, according to HKLNDS, is to connect people to local resources and information.

Trying to raise awareness even further, The campaign encourages people to understand consent, and ways to identify, establish and maintain consent. As well, people are encouraged to understand what alcohol and drugs do to a person’s ability to consent. It is also a good idea to define and respect the boundaries of others.

Rachel Petty, Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative Coordinator for the four counties says, “Coming from a place of strength we want to work within in our communities to acknowledge the
complexities of people’s lives as related to their substance use, to enhance capacity for critically thinking about the risks associated with certain behaviours and enable low barrier access to necessary harm reduction tools and supports.”

The social media toolkit created by HKLNDS can be found by clicking here.