The name’s Steve. I’m one of two rookies on the Youth4Change team this summer; the other being Sandra. I just finished my first year of environmental science at Mount Royal University in April so I (as well as my parents) thought it would be a good time to search for a summer job. I was lucky enough to be hooked up with an interview for Youth4Change through my sister. I started May 9th. Prior to this, I had no knowledge whatsoever dealing with the issue of sexual violence. The facts overwhelmed me.
1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be affected by sexual violence before their 18th birthday. Not only did this surprise me, it also frightened me. Learning that such a problem was so frequent yet so undisclosed did not sit well with me. Through the first 18 years of my life I had no idea how big of an issue sexual violence actually is. It was nice to join a youth oriented team such as Youth4Change that was created to engage adolescences on the topic of sexual violence. Since starting here around a month and a half ago my whole view on the world has taken an entirely new direction.
Sexual violence is an unacceptable topic in our communities. This needs to change. It is an avoided conversation piece because it makes some people uncomfortable. If we want a sexual violence free society, we need to educate people on the problem and make them comfortable communicating about it. Education is the answer. If we teach today’s youth (the future) to be talkative and informative regarding sexual violence, then we are one step closer to a world without sexual violence.