Make the Leap! Imagine a world without sexual violence
Leap21 was created to support a 21st century growing awareness of sexual violence. The intended audience is anyone involved with the child welfare sector in Ontario.
- young people in and leaving care in Ontario
- foster parents and anyone who cares for and about youth in care
- child protection workers
The toolkit is designed to encourage reflection, learning and dialogue. The information and resources are provided to help strengthen support for young people and to encourage visitors to take action in creating a society that values, respects, supports and includes everyone.
The toolkit focuses on sexual assault and sexual harassment of young people in and leaving care. It does not address sexual abuse of children or the unique needs of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Additional tools may be needed in situations with younger or developmentally challenged children and youth.
Be prepared that some of the topics may be challenging for those who were raised in the 20th century. The language is direct and explicit on several pages. The content has been purposely chosen to reflect what is happening in society. Speaking openly and directly about sex and sexuality is part of youth culture. Figuring out how to connect with this generation requires a willingness to listen without judging.
We hope that you will find helpful information and ideas that are interesting and stimulating. Leap21 creators also hope that you will go on and engage your colleagues and friends to open up discussion and break the silence on sexual violence that is so devastating.
Together we are stronger.
Input for LEAP21 was gathered from a wide range of resources and research, in collaboration with professionals, advocates and young people with lived experience.
A youth advisory group comprised of young people who have been involved with the child welfare sector was convened and provided critical ideas, stories of experience and strong vision for this project. Foster parents and child welfare workers and managers have also contributed their input and ideas. Thank you to everyone who participated in the creation and review process.
See more: about the child welfare sector and the rights and responsibilities that protect children and youth.
Anova is the home for Leap21. In 2017, Women's Community House and Sexual Assault Centre London in London Ontario merged to create Anova. Anova provides services and supports in London for people experiencing violence and/or abuse. At Anova, we believe an inclusive world of shared power where everyone lives freely without fear of violence is possible. We are working to create change to eliminate patriarchal patterns that result in gender-based domestic and sexual violence and inequality.
Funding for LEAP21 was generously provided by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services as part of Ontario’s Sexual Violence & Harassment Action Plan. LEAP21 materials do not represent the views of the Ontario Government.
See also: It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment
We are living in a time of great change. Scroll down to the timeline to gain a sense of some of the most significant dates in how sexual violence has been addressed.