Cats Against Catcalling: Shedding Light on Sexual Harassment on Halloween
The Prevent Resist Support (PRS) Team is running their annual Cats Against Catcalling event today in the CAW Student Centre. This annual event, which is run by the PRS office and supported by the UWSA’s Womxn’s Centre, aims to educate the campus community about consent during Halloween, as well as introducing the campus community to adoptable kittens with the help of the Windsor Humane Society.
“Cats Against Catcalls is a yearly campaign that we run around Halloween each year.! It’s an opportunity for us to share information about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any comment or conduct against an individual because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome in the context of an educational setting or workplace setting,” states Anne Rudzinski, Manager of Education and Survivor Support with the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Resistance, and Support. “We will be in the CAW Centre on Monday, October 30th from 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm with cats from the Humane Society, resources, and activities.”
“What I love about [Cats Against Catcalling] is that it brings awareness to multiple important causes in one great event: The Humane Society is able to raise awareness on the importance of adoption, while the PRS office raises awareness of the issue that is catcalling and how we can work as a community to keep each other safe,” says Womxn’s Centre Supervisor, Kim Courtis. “Plus, we get to pet kittens.”
“Being catcalled is not a badge of honour or something you feel good about,” says Liv Brannagan, a fourth-year forensics student. “There is such a distinction when it comes to genuinely complimenting someone and catcalling them. You think it would be easy to treat somebody with basic respect and not catcall them but sadly that isn’t the world we live in.” This event holds a special place in the hearts of its volunteers. “This is my second year being able to witness this event, and I think a lot of women find it empowering,” states a Womxn’s Centre volunteer. “Feeling heard is super important, and knowing that UWindsor is actively pushing back against something that a lot of women are accustomed to is very comforting.”
The Cats Against Catcalling event is not the only initiative the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Resistance, and Support team is putting on. “On Tuesday, October 31, we’re hosting our re-occurring [sic] event with Green Bean Cafe – the Condom Bar! Students can drop by Green Bean from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm to learn about safer sex, and make their own safer sex kit. We believe that addressing campus-based sexual violence also means that we spend time talking about consent and sex education,” adds Anne.
You can visit the CAW Student Centre on October 30 to visit with kittens and learn more about available resources and programming.