While all survivors of violence face barriers to getting the support they need, rural survivors of sexual violence face concerns that urban survivors do not.
Sexual violence is easily hidden in vast communities were women are isolated from loved ones and one another. Complex safety issues exist. Sexual violence carries particular stigma, and rural women are seen as violating community norms by their peers or families if they disclose their experiences. Last, services meant to support survivors (i.e. police reporting, courts, counselling services), may be fewer and farther away from rural households in these geographic regions.
Read more about the realities of sexual violence in rural communities in Ontario here:
Many thanks to OCRCC member Women’s Sexual Assault Support Centre of Renfrew County for this review!