Your sister tells you that her husband won't allow her to go on birth control.

Do you change the subject?

Being forced into sex, including unprotected sex, by anyone-husband, boyfriend or date – isn’t a ‘personal problem’ or a ‘private matter’. It’s a crime with serious effects for everyone, and society as a whole.

Intimate Partner Sexual Violence

Why draw the line

Controlling a woman’s access to birth control is considered sexual violence. Everyone has rights to control their own body. Being in a relationship does not change this right.

When to draw the line

Sexual violence is unacceptable. Period. This includes when a person is in a relationship. Every person has control over their body and their choices must be respected.

How to draw the line

There’s always more than one option for a bystander. Take a stand safely and do something that you feel comfortable with. You could:

  • Support her. Listen to her story.
  • Believe her. Validate her feelings.
  • Find help for her. Offer community resources and services.

Your friend passes out on the couch at a party.

Do you leave her there?

Over half of all sexual assaults involve alcohol – and it’s the number one drug used by perpetrators.

Alcohol Related Sexual Assault

Why Draw the Line

When we leave a friend passed out she may be left vulnerable to being sexually assaulted. Every choice we make and every action we take – no matter how small – has the power to make a difference.

When to Draw the Line

Consent matters. Only yes means yes. You can’t consent if you’re drunk.

How to Draw the Line

There's always more than one option for a bystander. Take a stand safely and do something that you feel comfortable with. You could:

  • Check in with your friend. “Are you ok?”
  • Make up an excuse to get her out of the situation. “Hey, we have to leave now.”
  • Tell a sober person. “I think my friend is in trouble.”

A community helper has a reputation for being “touchy”.

Do you say something?

When you notice something that doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. So listen to your gut and trust your instincts.

Sexual Assault by a Person of Authority

Why draw the line

When we look away, we allow sexual violence to continue. 85% of sexually abused children and teens are abused by someone they know. The law protects children under 18 from sexual exploitation: any sexual contact between a child younger than 18 and a person of authority is legally considered sexual assault.

When to draw the line

When someone abuses a position of trust, power or authority, consent is not possible. When there is no consent, there is sexual violence.

How to draw the line

There’s always more than one option for a bystander. Take a stand safely and do something that you feel comfortable with. You could:

  • Check in with the person. “Is everything ok?”
  • Tell someone about it: a peer, parent, or another trusted community member might have the same suspicions.
  • Go to the authorities: community leaders and/or the police, especially if the person is under the age of 16 (it’s the law).

Someone at work comments on a co-worker's body, saying ‘just kidding.'

Do you laugh along?

So, where is the line between sexual harassment and a joke? It all depends on consent.

Workplace Sexual Harassment

Why Draw the Line

Almost half of women will say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. When we choose to look away, we quietly support a threatening & intimidating workplace.

When to Draw the Line

Sexual harassment is unwanted, unwelcomed and unasked-for behaviour of a sexual nature.

How to Draw the Line

There is always more than one option for a bystander. Take a stand safely and do something that you feel comfortable with. You could:

  • Call him out and tell him you think it’s unacceptable
  • Call your supervisor and tell them there’s no place for sexual violence in the workplace
  • Check in with your co-worker and ask if she’s ok.

Your neighbour tells you she “deserved” what happened to her because of the clothes she chose to wear.

Do you change the subject?

Like a lot of people, you might believe that females “ask” for trouble when they wear “party clothes”.

Societal Norms

Why Draw the Line

Sexual violence is not acceptable at any time. It does not matter what a person chooses to wear, nobody “deserves” being sexually assaulted.

When to Draw the Line

Whenever you can, make a choice that shows you don’t support sexual violence. Listen to your gut, because if it feels ‘wrong’, it probably is.

How to Draw the Line

Even though you can’t always stop an assault, it’s never too late to make a difference. And as a bystander, you always have more than one option.

  • Talk about it by letting others know where you stand
  • Don’t support a perpetrator (with money, Facebook likes, or a vote)
  • Think twice about the choices you make everyday. Can you take a stand, make a statement and draw the line?

A community member has been texting your friend inappropriate messages.

Do you tell someone?

Sending messages of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and can have a serious impact on the victim.

Sexual Harassment Through Text

Why Draw the Line

When we look away from sexual violence we make it easier for the perpetrator to continue – and the violence. Every choice we make and every action we take – no matter how small – has the power to make a difference.

When to Draw the Line

Consent matters. Consent is something that must be asked for every step of the way. What’s more, texts of a sexual nature are types of sexual harassment and should not be allowed or accepted.

How to Draw the Line

Getting involved doesn’t have to be (and ideally shouldn’t be) a big deal. You always have options:

  • Let others know where you stand on sexual violence.
  • Encourage your friend not to respond to the texts and to change her number.
  • Check in with your friend and ask if she’s ok.