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Manon Bergeron has been combating in opposition to sexual violence for nearly thirty years. First as a sexologist on the Middle for Assist and Combating Sexual Assault (CALAC) and since 2010 as a researcher within the Division of Sexology on the College of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). Her work is bearing fruit: the ESSIMU survey (Sexuality, Security and Interactions in College Environments), which she carried out in 2016, was nicely acquired by the political authorities and led to a “sturdy” regulation. This yr, Acfas awarded him the Thérèse Gouin-Décarie Prize in Social Sciences. Portrait of a devoted researcher.
“I turned interested by sexual violence by likelihood,” remembers the winner. “I used to be simply ending my highschool diploma in sexology and needed to discover an internship in a follow. I appeared by way of a listing of group organizations and found one which specialised in sexual assault. It instantly caught my consideration.” Violence of this type was taboo on the time and ignored. She noticed a chance – and ended up holding that place for 13 years.
There she was capable of carefully observe the affect of the revelations made by singer Nathalie Simard, who in 2005 denounced her former supervisor Man Cloutier, who had been convicted of sexual assault when she was a minor. “It confirmed the silence wherein she was trapped and the way she was capable of escape. It gave hope to these going by way of one thing comparable. It has sensitized the inhabitants. »
The sexologist then determined to return to her research and got here to UQAM as a professor, the place she rapidly put the expertise she had gained on this area into follow. In 2016, with the #MeToo motion in full swing, she launched an investigation aimed toward documenting sexual assaults on college campuses – a primary in Quebec. The outcomes are stunning: “Greater than a 3rd (36.9%) of respondents reported not less than one type of sexual victimization,” we learn within the report. “That prompted a shock wave,” the researcher remembers. For some individuals, it was unimaginable that sexual violence might happen in a spot like a college. »
His work has resonated throughout the province: Legislation 22.1 on the prevention of sexual violence in universities, handed in 2017, is closely impressed by the outcomes of his analysis. The next yr, she was named Radio-Canada’s Scientist of the Yr, a rarity for a social science researcher. This nomination sparks controversy, notably as a result of Manon Bergeron doesn’t disguise her feminist loyalties. “It’s a part of my id,” she confirms. For me, the feminist strategy means inserting sexual violence in its social context. »
Documenting the unexplored
Since then, Manon Bergeron has continued to push her trigger ahead. As holder of the Analysis Chair in Gender-Particular and Sexual Violence in Greater Schooling (VSSMES), she and different researchers look at the phenomenon from all views. In 2020, a report on sexual violence in increased schooling settings revealed a worrying state of affairs: “Virtually one in three individuals (29.9%) have skilled some type of VSMC [violence sexuelle en milieu collégial] within the yr earlier than the survey. » She lately co-authored a portrait of the state of affairs amongst LGBTQ+ populations that highlights their very excessive vulnerability to this violence. The chair can be within the indigenous inhabitants.
Who stays within the shadows? “Individuals with disabilities,” she solutions with out hesitation. There are lots of myths and prejudices surrounding them. They deserve consideration. »
The researcher modestly says that her successes are resulting from teamwork. “For me it’s a prerequisite for achievement,” she says passionately. After we determine wants collectively, we create initiatives that have an effect on society. » A concrete instance: the Empreinte sexual assault prevention program, developed in collaboration with 26 CALACS and carried out in secondary colleges throughout Quebec. “I’m proud that so many younger individuals profit from this. »
For Manon Bergeron, the work isn’t but completed; she is already fascinated about the following 5 years of her professorship. All the higher: due to her, the struggle in opposition to sexual violence isn’t stalling.
This content material was created by Le Devoir’s Particular Publications crew, reporting to Advertising. The editors of Le Devoir didn’t participate.