Local agencies and service providers that help survivors of sexual exploitation are collaborating to bring awareness to their work in Edmonton and across Alberta during the Sexual Exploitation Week of Awareness from May 15 to 19.
The Sexual Exploitation Working Group (SEWG) will begin the week with a live-streamed proclamation event, followed by two educational events during the week. Creating Hope Society, a community partner, is hosting a walk from the Alberta legislature to Kinistinâw Park on Thursday, May 18, beginning at the legislature at 3 pm.
SEWG is a collaborative group of service providers, police and the Government of Alberta, and they raise awareness of sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and its causes and impacts.
The group has been marking the week of awareness annually since 2004. The Edmonton week is held during Alberta’s Sexual Violence Awareness Month and also aligns with the National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week.
“Sexual violence, exploitation, and trafficking affect us all, whether directly or indirectly. The cost of victimization is high, both to those who survive and to our communities. The role of the SEWG is to keep these critical matters in the public mind,” says Kate Quinn, executive director of the Centre to End All Exploitation (CEASE) and chair of SEWG.
The week will also feature two free, live-streamed events over the lunch hours (noon to 1 pm).
“We want to engage Edmontonians by providing webinars during this week of awareness,” says Quinn. “It’s important to learn about vulnerability factors so we know how to strengthen children, youth, and adults to identify and resist those who may exploit and harm them.”
On May 16, the lunch-hour livestream will feature a presentation about the Canadian Native Friendship Centre’s Protecting Our Sacred Fires program.
The May 17 livestream will feature a presentation from the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Network on the connection between FASD and the risk of exploitation.
All events start at noon, are free to the public, and can be joined at the links below. For those unable to join live, the recordings will be posted on the SEWG website for viewing at www.sewgedmonton.com.
Monday, May 15: SEWA Proclamation 2023
Tuesday, May 16: Protecting Our Sacred Fires Attendee Invitation
Topic: Protecting Our Sacred Fires, Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association
Wednesday, May 17: FASD and Sexual Exploitation