Raising awareness about sexual violence

York University students are using their literacy skills in creative ways to raise awareness about sexual violence.

"A group of York University students is using comics to tackle an issue that doesn’t usually get the funny pages treatment: sexual violence.

As part of Design for Public Awareness, a class taught by Prof. Jan Hadlaw, the students created 12 graphic art projects that address issues surrounding sexual assault.

Hadlaw said she wasn’t sure at first about using comics to tackle such a weighty subject.

'I had to think about it for a minute — it’s a challenging topic on many levels — but it was clearly an inspired idea,' she said.

The course material was presented in conjunction with Noa Ashkenazi, the university’s sexual harassment prevention and education adviser.

Sexual assault has been a hot topic at York. Taking action to prevent attacks must go beyond getting security or law enforcement involved, Ashkenazi said.

'We cannot expect police to change the social norms. We need to change the social norms,' she said."

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