Correction: This article originally stated women are the victims of sexual assault 97 per cent of the time, when, in fact, statistics suggest actually that men are the offenders 97 per cent of the time.
Anonymous men claiming that some women actively lie or over-blow claims of sexual assault are establishing a chapter in Calgary much like one to the north that has generated widespread criticism for its actions.
Men’s Rights Calgary intends to launch a website in the coming days and already has up to 10 members signed on, with many more expected to join the cause, according to a representative.
“I think in any kind of sexual assault, the victim is the victim, whether you’re a man or a woman,” said Nick, who, much like his counterparts in Edmonton, refused to give his last name.
“It’s a terrible thing. I think, under the current system, a woman would be believed in the case of accusation of such a thing a lot quicker than the man would be.”
Men’s Rights Edmonton (MR-E) generated national media attention when it launched a poster campaign called “Don’t be that Girl” that was a direct contradiction to the “Don’t be that Guy” campaign launched by agencies in Calgary and Edmonton.
Calgary’s campaign, specifically, launched in 2011 and centred around posters of drunk women passed out and being helped home by men. One caption read, “Just because she isn’t saying no, doesn’t mean she’s saying yes.”
In contrast, posters plastered around the University of Alberta campus by MR-E featured the caption “Just because you regret a one-night stand doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual.”
Nick, who “works on cars” for a living, said he understood why his Edmonton peers launched the campaign, adding he found the “Don’t be that Guy” campaign to be an inaccurate representation of sexual assault.
Joe Campbell with Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse was instrumental in bringing the “Don’t be that Guy” campaign to life locally. He said Monday his group chose to focus on men as offenders because they are just that in 97 per cent of reported sexual assault incidents, according to data from Statistics Canada. He also said data indicates false claims from women only occur between two and six per cent of the time.
“I will say that campaigns that do imply women lie about this is very silencing to those survivors who actually do experience sexual assault and are afraid to come out about it,” Campbell said.
-with files from Annalise Klingbeil