After a recent string of reported sexual assaults, women’s rights advocates are challenging Ottawa men to take a lead in opposing violence against women.

“It’s not to take the voices away from the women, but to come on and say, ‘We’re better than this. This is not us,’” said Concillia Muonde, a public education co-ordinator at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa.

“That would send a strong message.”


Muonde said she would like to see civic leaders like Mayor Larry O’Brien or Police Chief Vern White take up the banner and make violence against women a citywide issue.

“We want allies. We want men to take some leadership and challenge one another,” she said.

According to, there have been nine reported sexual assault cases in Ottawa since Aug. 16, but Muonde said the volume and frequency of those incidents is not something to dwell on since, for every incident reported to police, many more go unreported.

“One is too many,” said Muonde. “The only rate at which we’ll accept it is zero and we’re not at that rate yet.”

The SASC-Ottawa is holding its annual Take Back the Night march Sept. 24.

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