CPS and SASS respond to heinous social media trend

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By Nick Seebruch
CPS and SASS respond to heinous social media trend
Cornwall Police Service 2019 crest.

WARNING: The following story contains details of a social media trend that makes light of or advocates for rape. Some readers may find details upsetting.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) and Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) for women of Cornwall, SD&G and Akwesasne issued a joint statement on Friday, April 23 in regards to a heinous trend circulating on social media.

Multiple police forces and victim services organizations across North America and in the United Kingdom have issued similar statements directed at so-called “National Rape Day.”

Allegedly the trend began on the social media platform TikTok where a group of trolls were encouraging rape on April 24.

“The CPS and SASS have been made aware of the trend and are monitoring social media accordingly. While the videos pertaining to the event are not believed to have originated in the Cornwall area, CPS and SASS want to advise the public that sexual assault is not a joke and to contact police should anyone become a victim of a direct threat,” reads the joint CPS and SASS statement.

CPS explained that while the social media videos did not originate in Cornwall, they stated that it was important for them to advise the community that they were aware that this trend was out there.

“While we have not received any reports of an event in Cornwall, it is important for us to advise our community that we are well aware of this alleged trend and are prepared to investigate accordingly,” said Sergeant Mark Anderson of the CPS Criminal Investigations Division. “At this time, there is no reason for residents to be concerned for their safety. We want to reassure the public and all victims that support is available.”

According to data cited by the CPS, one-in-three women in Canada and one-in-eight men are victims of sexual violence.

“A culture change involves an entire society,” said Melanie of SASS. “It’s not just about survivors. It’s about our community refusing to tolerate sexual assault and violence.”

Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to please report the incident to police by calling 613-932-2110 ext. 3. A 24/7 confidential Crisis & Support line is also available and open to all survivors of sexual violence and their family and friends:

·         1-877-544-6424 (EN)

·         1-877-336-2433 (FR)

For more information about available resources and support, please visit https://www.sassforwomen.ca or call 613-932-1755. Members of SASS are also available to answer questions through their social media platforms.

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