In December 2011, the local sexual assault awareness committee, a sub-committee of the Miramichi Family Violence Prevention Network, discussed what could be done to raise awareness of sexual assault. In November, the committee organized a march for “Take Back the Night” which left us wanting to do more to raise awareness on this very important issue.
Anne Marie Hogarth, a new committee member, took the lead on organizing the making of a video to post on Youtube. The goal was to have the video ready for April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
On the morning of March 11, Chopper Robinson and Frank Gallant at Miramichi Online were ready and waiting for us to get started. Upon walking into the Miramichi Online office, there were two women in their sixties sitting in the entrance of the building, waiting to be part of the video. It was very evident that this project was important to them.
Chopper set up the lights and camera and started taping. “We need some young people”, he said. Out to Miramichi’s Water Street we went, we stopped a group of teenage girls walking by. “We are doing a video to raise awareness on sexual assault. Would you girls be in the video?” we asked. “Sure,” they said. “Wow, that wasn’t too hard”, I thought.
I was getting very pumped by all the interest people were showing in making this video. A local police officer and his wife stopped by to see how things were going. They, too, decided to be part of the video. But it didn’t stop there: a 91 year old woman, a 26 year old woman, a 5 year old boy, an 8 year old girl, Chopper’s daughter and wife, men, women, young people, old people. People came and went all day.
Chopper was on a mission, Anne Marie was on a mission and I was amazed. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people wanted to be part of this video to raise awareness on sexual assault.
Chopper and Frank had the video ready on April 1st. I watched it and felt so proud of my community. I rounded up a group of staff at NBCC in Student Services and we all watched it. Some of us cried. One woman in the group said, “Everyone should see this video”. This was the response we hoped for!
Patty Michaud is a Domestic Violence Outreach Worker with Miramichi Outreach Services