What is Project SoundCheck?
Simply, we are here to support festivals and large events to prevent sexual violence. You may be asking why we would need to do this, and that is a very good question. The Sexual Assault Network and the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women developed Project SoundCheck in 2015 after research from The Ottawa Hospital’s Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program found that large events had particularly high rates of sexual violence. The research noted that approximately 25% of the sexual assault cases they saw in 2013 occured after large events. Out of these cases, the majority tended to be young women, and less than 1/3 knew the person who had assaulted them.
Do you know about the bystander apathy effect?
Here’s what you need to know; bystander apathy is seen in large groups. This is important because at large events there are lots of people. We think that at large events we are safer, but this is false. Why is it false you ask? When we have larger groups of people we do not feel the same responsibility to act because we thinkin someone else will intervene or help the person who needs it. At Project SoundCheck we focus on #breakingthesocialcontract to ignore a situation and encourage folks to intervene or disrupt problematic behaviour.
Our work with event staff and volunteers has shown us that people are willing to talk about the prevalence of sexual violence, and are very engaged when talking about how they can prevent sexual violence. Beyond this we know that volunteers and staff are taking the information they learned and sharing it will family and friends, which is in turn helping to improve our communities.
Project SoundCheck is quickly coming to be seen as a gold standard. We are known for our ability to work with festivals to develop individual prevention plans.& We pride ourselves on being collaborative and providing large event organizers with resources, supports, and services on sexual violence prevention.
email or call the Project SoundCheck Manager at 613-725-3601 ext 104. You can also find us on Twitter @SANOttawa
We would like to thank Crime Prevention Ottawa (crimepreventionottawa.ca) for funding the 2015/2016 year of this project. As well, we would like to thank Wolfworks (www.worlfworks.ca) for their design work and printing of our material. Finally, this project would not have happened without the engagement from festivals, we would like to thank you all: RBC Bluesfest/Cityfolk, Hope Volleyball, Ottawa Capital Pride, Glowfair, Ottawa Explosion Weekend, Westfest, Fringe Festival, OH Canada, Media Styles, House of Paint, Animation Festival, Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls.