It is time for a Spooktacular amount of fun; however, Halloween is also a high-risk period of the year for sexual violence. 1 in 3 women, 1 in 6 men, and 1 in 2 transgender people will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. About 50% of sexual violence occurs in the fall (September to December), with 5-7% of those incidents occurring on Halloween weekend. As members of the Humber College community, it is important to remind us of our commitment to making safe and respectful decisions:

Consent is mandatory for all sexual activities. Halloween costumes are not consent. However one dresses or wherever one goes, “yes” means “yes,” and “no” means no”. Halloween is not an excuse for catcalls, unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate touching, leering, and all forms of sexual violence.

Alcohol and drugs impair one’s ability to give consent and receive consent. Are they slurring their words, walking in a shuffle, or unable to keep their eyes open? If the answer to any of these is “yes, " they are too intoxicated to consent.

Consent isn't just for sex! Ask if it's okay to hug someone, take their photo, or be in their space. For more information on consent and support resources, visit the Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence Support site or email support.

You are accountable for your actions. Consequences for misconduct could range from warnings to suspension or expulsion. Get familiar with these college policies:

If you are of the legal age to drink and choose to drink, know your limits, pace yourself, have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks, only accept drinks from a trusted source and do not drink and drive. Check out these helpful Drink Smart Tips.

Stick together and travel in groups. Designate someone to help when in trouble. It is also good to have a means of identification and a phone on you in case you need to call for help.

If you see something, trust your instincts and do something. Be more than a Bystander. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Delegate: Get help from others nearby, through crisis services, or by calling 9-1-1.
  • Direct: Tell the person to stop. Set limits. Create boundaries
  • Distract: Interrupt or redirect the attention away from the person causing harm, e.g. Ask for the time/directions or accidentally spill your drink.
  • Debrief: Check-in during or after to ensure they are safe and okay.
  • Document: Take note or record what is happening. However, do not share the recording without the consent of the person who experienced harm.

Halloween can and should be fun for everyone, but we all need to do our parts to make it fun and safe.

Witch-ing you a safe and happy Halloween!

References:

Mohawk College (n.d), retrieved from https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/about/news/blogs/halloween-safety-tips-will-come-candy

Colorado State University (n.d), retrieved from https://source.colostate.edu/halloween-time-high-risk/

Wilfrid Laurier University (n.d), retrieved from vhttps://students.wlu.ca/news/recurring/stay-ghoulden-this-halloween.html