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Letters to the editor, November 28, 2013 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Avalon ad-dendum
I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a concern with our Start by Believing awareness campaign. In the opinion piece "Avalon Sexual Assault Centre's ads get the numbers wrong" (Voice of the City, November 21) writer Jane Kansas addresses a gender discrepancy in one of Avalon's posters on Metro Transit buses.

The poster states that 25 percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 12. This is one of three designs in a series of posters that are on the buses. The other posters state that one in three women and one in six men have been sexually assaulted. As theses other two posters and the police-reported statistic that Ms. Kansas sites in her article indicate, sexual assault is more prevalent among women than men.

Given that we had two posters focusing on gendered statistics of sexual violence, we decided to focus on an age demographic for the third poster in order to emphasize the prevalence of child sexual abuse--- many adult survivors of sexualized violence were victimized as children/youth.

The statistic in the poster about sexual assault victims under age 12 comes from Statistics Canada. Unfortunately, that figure is not clearly broken down by gender.

The intention of the Start by Believing campaign is to encourage people to realize the serious prevalence of sexual assault in our society and to believe victims/survivors when they disclose their experience of sexual assault. Simply hearing the words "I believe you" after disclosing an assault can have a significant positive effect on a person's healing process. We hope that this is the message that comes through from the posters. —Jackie Stevens, coordinator: community/legal education and training, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre

Frosh bleak
If I were a frosh and had experienced this, I would have felt really uncomfortable and alienated at my new school ("SMU frosh pushed into fake public sex," Reality Bites by Clare Shrybman, November 21). I did frosh week at another university and nothing like this happened. For the people who say "lighten up," you have bigger issues if you think all this sexism and disrespect towards women is OK.

Mysogyny is clearly rampant at SMU. —posted by Melanie Seaward at

The courtship of Eddie's zinger
Dude using queen's English was actually using Eddie Izzard's English ("A chair should just be a goddamn chair," Overheard, November 21). Izzard did that very routine on November 10 at the Rebecca Cohn Theatre, complaining about french masculine and feminine nouns. Give credit where it is due---to one of the funniest men on earth. —Peter Roberts, via email

Bobcats: dogs
Andrew Murphy in Voice of the City ("The city is about to make a mess out of every sidewalk," November 14) brings the bad news, that is, what Linda Mosher and our council have decided: Bobcat plows now on all streets for snow removal.

I do lots of walking around town as part of my job and though the Bobcats have started sprinkling salt behind them, they still do a poor job of clearing the way.

I live on North Street and the Bobcats have been clearing the sidewalks for a couple of years here already. They tear a six-inch strip off the lawn or garden next to the sidewalk, and fill in your driveway with mounds of excess snow after passing, as the street plows do from the street side.

They prevent how much exercise? Thus causing poor health in The City of Trees. And no shovelling is just one more reason to never see your next-door neighbour. —Scot Jamieson, Halifax


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