Province launches Sexual Violence Awareness Campaign
Parents have used the birds and the bees to talk to their kids about sex for generations. The province is now using them to talk to teens about sexual violence.
On October 4, Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard launched the Sexual Violence Strategy's public awareness campaign, Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees, to grades 10 to 12 students at Millwood High School in Middle Sackville. Aimed at Nova Scotians aged 14 to 20, the campaign uses an animated, modern twist on the popular metaphor to broach subjects like consent.
"We worked with young people to find a way of talking about sexual violence that would make sense to them," said Ms. Bernard. "We consulted with diverse groups of teens, people in their twenties and our provincial committee every step of the way. We're really excited to see what kind of conversations it sparks."
The campaign consists of 30 and 60 second videos featuring bird-and-bee-type characters animated in the style of popular shows like Bojack Horseman and The Simpsons. The episodes deal with situations of sexual violence that youth told us they are facing in today's world. The first 60-second video takes place at a house party and explores the issue of alcohol and consent.
The videos are available on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. They'll also be shown in cinemas across the province. The campaign website at birdsandthebees.ca includes useful information on where to get help and how to support a friend who has been subjected to sexual violence. Campaign materials have been designed so they can be easily used by organizations around the province.
The campaign is a key commitment of the Sexual Violence Strategy, launched in June 2015. The strategy is a three-year commitment with a total budget of $6 million. It is focused on the co-ordination of services to better respond to the needs of victims and survivors, and ultimately preventing sexual violence from happening in the first place. Strategy actions have been identified in three main categories: services and supports, education and prevention, and approach and accountability.
Read more in the October 4 announcement from the Department of Community Services.