Most people can agree that sometimes, you’re hanging out with a group of friends, making jokes, and there’s that one person who takes a joke too far, whether it be a racist joke or a rape joke.
It makes everyone in the group feel uncomfortable. Do you stand up or stay silent? Kristal Jones, in collaboration with Kristen Mommertz of Hollaback!, Kawartha Sexual Assault Center (KSAC), and Courage Peterborough, has decided to stand up and Draw the Line on “jokes” about rape and consent.
“We wish to expand our reach and to provide those who have suffered harassment in our community an avenue to share their stories,” said Jones.
Jones experienced a slew of abusive comments after having called out a comedian on social media for making comments that mocked a consent poster in town and receiving support for his promotion of rape culture.
The individuals joining this man were worse than the friends that stay quiet when an offensive joke is uttered because they kept feeding the bad joke fire. Jones went to the police on several occasions. Even after being threatened and harassed for being a survivor, the police told her there was nothing they could do about it.
Draw the Line is a variety show with a purpose.According to Jones, it serves to raise awareness of the “normalization of rape culture in our society and the gap between the law and these situations,” in a lighthearted manner that doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the issues.
The show premiered last year at The Venue and Jones is saying they want to run the event twice a year. This year’s show will be happening on October 17 at 9PM at The Venue. All of the proceeds will go to public education through KSAC, the Draw the Line Campaign and Hollaback!. There will be a photo booth where audience members can donate and get a snapshot of them sharing where they draw the line.
In addition to awakening public awareness, Jones added that another goal of this year’s event is to make Peterborough the first UN-mandated safe city in Canada. Willing individuals can sign their own letter template at the event that will be sent to Mayor Bennett asking him what he will do to make Peterborough a Safe City.
For more information on UN-mandated safe cities, visit: www.unwomen.org/~/media/headquarters/media/publications/unifem/evawkit_05_factsheet_safecitites_en.pdf