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Unblurring the lines to reduce sexual assault

Several experts will discuss alcohol’s role in facilitating sexual assaults and men’s essential responsibility for preventing violence against women at a special event on campus this week

UnBlurred Lines will take place in Robert Sutherland Hall Room 202 from 7-9 pm on Nov. 5 and in Davies Hall, St. Lawrence College, Nov. 6 from 9:30 am-noon.

UnBlurred Lines, hosted by Queen’s in partnership with the Safe and Sober Community Alliance, will feature a keynote address from Glen Canning – writer, activist and father of Rehtaeh Parsons, a young woman who took her own life after photos of her sexual assault were distributed online. Following the keynote speech, there will be a panel discussion featuring Mr. Canning and guest speakers Jeff Perera, Community Engagement Manager, White Ribbon Campaign, Julie Lalonde, an activist and Governor’s General Award recipient, Gerard Laahuis, Assistant Crown Attorney, and Caroline Pukall, a professor in Queen’s Department of Psychology.

Montana Hauser, Artsci’15, chair of Sexy Queen’s U – an anti-violence campaign that works to raise awareness of sexual violence – says that the panel discussion will help highlight the issues students believe to be most pressing when it comes to sexual assault and alcohol.

“UnBlurred Lines will shed light on the topics that students desire to know more about that will help us shape the conversation around alcohol’s role in sexual assault. Discussions like this should become part of the culture of universities,” she says. “This event will generate awareness and educate community members on how men and women can collaborate on the issue of reducing sexual assault.”

The UnBlurred Lines discussion panel will take place twice: on Queen’s campus in Robert Sutherland Hall Room 202 on Nov. 5 from 7-9 pm and again at St. Lawrence College in Davies Hall on Nov. 6 from 9:30 am to noon.

“We hope to be able to inspire the campus communities in Kingston to join the movement to end violence against women,” says Kate Humphrys, Co-ordinator, Health Education and Health Promotion, Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services. “Alcohol is used in more than half of all sexual assaults and it continues to happen with young people in our society. It’s our hope that UnBlurred Lines will bring awareness and educate others about alcohol-facilitated sexual assault so we can tackle this issue head on.”