The province launched the second phase of the Sexual Violence Strategy’s public awareness campaign, Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees, today, Dec. 16.
The campaign, aimed at youth age 14-20, uses an animated, modern twist on the popular metaphor to broach subjects like consent. The second video, which debuts in theatres just in time for the holiday season, deals with the issue of online sexual harassment. To watch the video, go to birdsandthebees.ca.
“Young people told us repeatedly during our consultations that they deal with sexual harassment and violent comments online all of the time,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “We hope this video will lead to conversation, cause some people to think twice about what they post and hopefully prevent some people from posting comments like this at all.”
The campaign, which kicked off in October, consists of 30-and-60-second videos featuring birds and bees type characters animated in the style of popular shows like Bojack Horseman and The Simpsons. The episodes deal with situations of sexual violence that youth face today.
The first 60-second video takes place at a house party and explores the issue of alcohol and consent.
“I liked that I learned more about sexual violence so we can put a stop to it when we see it happen,” said Leiv Grude, age 16. “A lot of people don’t realize what sexual violence means. It’s an important issue because it happens all the time, and we never do anything to stop it.”
The videos are available on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. They’re also being shown in cinemas across the province.
The campaign includes a website with information on where to get help and how to support a friend who has been subjected to sexual violence. Campaign materials have been designed so they can be easily used by organizations around the province.
“We used the first Birds and the Bees video in youth workshops and the messages are clear,” said Lisanne Turner, of the Tri-County Women’s Centre. “The video sparked conversation about consent and bystander intervention. Youth quickly asked to see more.”
The campaign is a key commitment of the Sexual Violence Strategy, launched in June 2015. It’s a three-year commitment with a total budget of $6 million.
The strategy is focused on the coordination of services to better respond to the needs of victims and survivors, and to ultimately prevent sexual violence from happening in the first place.
Strategy actions have been identified in three main categories: services and supports; education and prevention; and approach and accountability.