Farrah Khan led the President’s Lecture Series on February 20 to discuss the #MeToo movement and how communities can address sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Khan is a nationally recognized gender justice advocate and the manager of Ryerson University’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education. She is also co-chair of the Ontario Provincial Roundtable on Violence Against Women and serves on the Advisory Council.
Speaking to more than 100 people at Humber’s Lakeshore Campus, Khan began the discussion by talking about being sexually assaulted as a teenager and her dedication to raise awareness on equality and gender-based violence.
Khan said, “people usually don’t consciously ‘choose’ their particular fight, flight or freeze response,” and communities must create an open space for people to share their stories during difficult times.
Khan adds communities should act more like Alpacas, who move in social herds and find comfort in moving together and warning their herd about intruders.
And, said Khan, with one in three women and one in six men who experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, people should do all they can to support each other.
The Humber honorary degree recipient added, “justice looks different to everyone and we need to give everyone the tools to access justice differently.”
Whether a victim of sexual harassment or violence is a family member, friend or co-worker, Khan said the best way to help others is to follow the BRAVE acronym. “We need to Believe, Respect, Ask, Validate and show Empathy for the people who need to share their story during a hard time.”
Helping to address these issues, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act is releasing The Student Voices on Sexual Violence online survey. Between February and March 2018, Ontario postsecondary students will have the opportunity to share their experiences, beliefs and statements about inappropriate sexual behaviours.
Students can expect more survey information in the coming days through MyHumber, and Humber’s social media accounts.