St Catharines Mayor throws firm support behind walk-out at local high school


Published October 12, 2021 at 12:53 pm

St Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik threw his firm support behind the massive student walk-out at Sir Winston Churchill for a rally to protest sexual violence at their school on Friday (October 8.)

Posting on social media after hearing about the rally, Sendzik posted, “Yesterday I heard the unsettling story about an ongoing police investigation of sexual assault at a St. Catharines high school. The first thing I want to say is that to any of the victims, there is support available for you through the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre. Please reach out. To any survivors of sexual assault, you deserve support to get through this.” 

He reassured the students that the allegations of assault were being dealt with by the authorities.

“There is an ongoing police investigation and I have confidence that it is being taken seriously. Anyone with information is encouraged to report it to the police – whether you are a student, a parent or a witness.”

Where dealing with the authorities does cause unease with some victims, he offered another alternative. “There is also an option to report anonymously through the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre.”

He added that he felt pride for the students speaking out. “One more thing: I’m proud to see the young people of St. Catharines rally together like this to support each other and rally together to make sure that their schools are safe places for young women and girls. It is this kind of leadership and action that gives me hope for the future.”

Noting that the rally saw both genders taking a stand, he continued, “To the young women leading the march: you are seen, you are heard and your leadership is going to make change. To the young men who are joining in to create safe places for young women to go to school, we see you too – and you are on the right side of this. You need to speak up as well and use your voice to support our young women. If you know a sexual assault has taken place, or someone you know is sexually harassing someone – speak up.”

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