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Bystander Intervention

Do you know what to do to challenge harassment?


Harassment FAQ's

What is harassment?

Sexual harassment is not simple to define as a list of behaviours, but it can be anything that makes your customers or employees feel uncomfortable, most generally either verbal or physical sexual behaviour towards a person without consent.

Some examples: 

  • Unwanted whistling
  • Leering
  • Sexist, homophobic or transphobic slurs
  • Persistent requests for someone’s name, number or destination after they’ve said no
  • Sexual names, comments and demands
  • Following
  • Flashing
  • Public masturbation
  • Groping
  • Taking photos without consent
  • Sexual touching

While our training explores harassment in the context of sexual violence, it is critical to acknowledge that harassment is a form of power based violence, and people can be targeted for a variety of reasons, many of which intersect.“Power based personal violence is rooted in the assertion of power, control and/or intimidation with the intent to harm another (source)."  Harassment therefore can be rooted in ableism, racism, xenophobia, classism, homophobia, transphobia, slutshaming, body shaming islamophobia , or any variety of combinations.


Wow, that's awful. How often is it happening?

Too often.  43% of Canadian women have been harassed at work.  67% of all Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.  And stories like this, this, this, and this are unfortunately all too common.  

  • 77% of stalking victims are women.
  • 21% of people between 18 and 34 incorrectly believe sending an explicit photo, text or email counts as consent.
  • 45% of perpetrators were identified as a casual acquaintance or friend. Statistics Canada 2011.
  • 25% of sexual assaults against women were committed by a stranger.  
  • 1,397 sexual assaults occur in Canada every day.
  • Alcohol is the most common substance in Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault and that 1 in 5 sexual assaults are drug facilitated and that there are a variety of drugs, including alcohol, used by perpetrators to incapacitate their victims.

Yea but, is it that bad in Vancouver? Do we really need something like GNO?

Incidents of non-penetration sexual assaults (i.e. a grope, grab or kiss) are on the rise in Vancouver. 

  • Most of the assaults are committed by strangers to the victim
  • The most vulnerable age groups are those in over-25 years and the 19-to-24 age group categories
  • Sexual assaults occur mainly during the late evening and early morning 
  • Alcohol in some capacity, was involved in about 31 to 43% of sexual assaults incidents over the last three years.