April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We should all be aware of these stats.
MONTREAL — As reports of celebrity sexual assaults escalate in the United States, Americans might want to look to its northern neighbor for clues as to why it’s less of a problem in Canada.
The rate of reported sexual assaults and rapes in Canada is roughly half that in the U.S. There were 431,840 such reports in the U.S. in 2015, according to a Justice Department survey. By contrast, Statistics Canada showed 22,000 assaults reported to police that year in a country with one-tenth the population of the U.S.
University of Victoria sociology professor Cecilia Benoit said a lower number of sexual assaults in Canada fit into a larger trend of fewer violent crimes in general.
“It’s partly cultural and partly the way the rules and regulations and social policy work in Canada,” she said. “The social net is a little bit tighter in Canada. Guns laws are very different, community cohesion is stronger with less individualism. “We’ve seen that before when we do comparisons on murder rates and those kinds of things.”
Alex McKay, executive director of the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada, said the country has made strides in teaching lessons about sexual consent.
In addition, “sex education is on average likely better than what it is in American schools because it tends to be less ideologically driven,” added McKay, who said Canada has a more progressive attitude toward sexuality.
Holly Johnson, a professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in the justice system’s response to sexual violence, notes that the definition of…