Sexual Exploitation Week of Awareness 2015, April 20-24: Shaping the Future Together

Sexual exploitation, and its related factors, remains a significant issue within our region. It can happen on many levels, and is a crime that Edmontonians face in today’s world. We continue to hear about the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, the need to create a consent culture and the push to provide a safe place for youth and adults to discuss sexual and gender identities. This is the time for a change in attitude and action. To increase knowledge and mindfulness, the City of Edmonton will declare Sexual Exploitation Week of Awareness (SEWA) starting Monday, April 20.

As part of the 2015 SEWA opening ceremony and proclamation on Monday, April 20, noon, at City Centre Mall, a short film will be shown that documents youth perspectives on sexual exploitation. To accompany the video, a campaign on the same topic will also be made public for all Edmontonians to see how this issue affects everyone, including Edmonton’s youth. By listening to what youth are experiencing, we can take action and help end sexual exploitation.

Other events throughout the week include:

  • An online film screening of Finding Dawn, a documentary by Christine Welsh that “illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the issue of violence against Native women in Canada”. (Tuesday, April 21)
  • Shaping the Future Together: Youth Film & Panel Discussion, hosted by Councillor Scott McKeen. (Wednesday, April 22; 7-9 p.m. City Room, City Hall)
  • An online screening of Buying Sex, a feature documentary that explores the state of prostitution laws in Canada. (Thursday, April 23)

Hearing stories and accounts from those affected from sexual exploitation helps Edmontonians understand where we can make crucial changes in our communities to create lasting changes to end sexual exploitation.

For more information and details on events, visit the Sexual Exploitation Working Group through social media:

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About the Author
Alec Stratford
Alec Stratford is a social worker with the City of Edmonton and a member of a specialized Neighbourhood Empowerment Team working in the 118th Ave area. Alec and his partners Constable Kurtis Hauptman and Cassie Smith work with the community to identify and implement ways to reduce and prevent crime and the fear of crime.
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