Heightened Risk Factors
Sexual violence is never okay. Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. However, research shows that some groups are more at risk than others and that there are certain times of the year when the incidents of reported sexual violence increases.
Research published by the Canadian Women's Foundation indicates that women are five times more likely than men to be sexually assaulted and that Indigenous women are three times more likely to experience sexual violence than non-Indigenous women. Other groups more likely to be targeted include 2SLGBTQIA+ community members, women of colour, women with disabilities, women living in poverty, sex workers and women aged 15 to 24.
A Canadian research article published in the Emergency Medicine Journal in 2015 also indicates that the relative frequencies of sexual assaults at mass gatherings increase during New Year's Eve, Canada Day, university orientation (or frosh) weeks, Halloween and festivals.
Project SoundCheck was founded as a result of some of this research and is an organization that works with event/festival organizers to create a culture that promotes consent and challenges all of the factors that allow sexual harassment and sexual assault to thrive. They provide bystander intervention training and strategic prevention tools to foster more inclusive and safer events. MusicNL partners with Project SoundCheck to offer sexual violence prevention training prior to music festival season in Newfoundland and Labrador.