A new campaign to raise awareness about drug facilitated sexual assault was launched recently by the NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre. In conjunction with a task force comprised of the Coalition Against Violence - Avalon East, the Women's Resource Centre at Memorial, the NL Sexual Health Centre and Eastern Health's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, the first phase of the initiative, entitled "PROTECT YOURSELVES" is ongoing and will see the distribution of posters in bars and other city venues. Several downtown establishments are currently displaying the posters in washrooms. The action comes as a response to the growing incidence of drug facilitated sexual assault in the province, as reflected by an increase in drugging-related calls to the Sexual Assault Centre's 24-hour Crisis Line.

The posters (see below), targeted at both male and female audiences, warn of the implications of 'date rape drugs', a problem that has become all too common. In 2006, roughly 75% of cases seen by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner clinic in St. John's were proven or suspected to be drug facilitated sexual assault. The message PROTECT YOURSELVES speaks to the responsibility of the community to be aware of this type of behavior, take steps to educate others about the dangers that exist and work toward prevention.

"It's great to see the community support this campaign", says NLSACPC Volunteer, Denise Hayes. "We all have to take steps to protect ourselves and each other. Many callers relay terrifying experiences as a result of drugging, and it's time we really took a serious look at this problem. We have to take action to make our communities safer."

NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre on Facebook

Annually on the 3rd Friday of September

Date Rape Drug Awareness Campaign

February is

Violence Prevention Month

3rd week of September is

Sexual Violence Awareness Week

Support group for women who have experienced sexual violence.

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