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IN-DEPTH: #Me Too divide: Millennial men and women differ over what is acceptable workplace behaviour A high “filtration” rate — meaning few cases of sex assault are reported to police in the first place and many of those that are reported are filtered out by police, prosecutors or the complainants themselves — means only a small fraction of perpetrators are ever held accountable by the justice system, said Sheehy.Canada has “great legislation” around sexual assault, says Elizabeth Sheehy, Shirley Greenberg professor of women and the legal profession in the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa, “But we don’t have much else that is very positive.”Research by Holly Johnson, a criminology researcher at University of Ottawa, highlighted the barriers and attrition factors.Compared with 460,000 sexual assaults reported to survey interviewers (in 2004), there were 1,519 sexual assault convictions (in 2006/2007).Still, social change, she noted, usually doesn’t occur as a result of legislation, but of social discourse. READ: Kurl: Sexual misconduct – same crap, different era Those who lead workshops on reducing sexual violence and promoting bystander intervention, say conversations play a role in changing the culture around sexual violence, and talking about negotiating sex and about the pressures men and women face are important parts of that conversation.“I never encounter a quiet room of young men who don’t want to figure out how we negotiate intimacy and how to be a man,” said Schaaf. Men and women are talking about their own experiences and about what consent means.Some of those conversations are underscored with anxiety.“I have young men come to me and say ‘I am worried about doing the wrong thing,’” says Kelsey Gilchrist, co-founder of Our Turn Carleton, which combats sexual violence through peer training workshops.“I say, ‘The fact that you are thinking about it means you are most of the way there.”“Most people know how to listen and make sure their partners are OK and having a good time.” You should be able to tell, she says to participants, and if you can’t “you should ask.” Enthusiastic consent on is the goal in sexual relationships, she said.As an example, in Schaaf’s workshops, participants are asked to shake hands with a partner after first discussing and negotiating every aspect — Which hand? asking for consent doesn’t mean some kind of stilted conversation that kills the vibe.”Ottawa activist Julie Lalonde, who leads workshops on sexual violence, consent and bystander intervention, in schools across the province, said she tells school groups that understanding consent is common sense.“The second you take consent out of the sexual context, people know exactly what it means.”Abusers often understand the concept too, she said, but don’t care.Among other things, she talks to schoolage girls and teens about standing up for themselves.“We don’t teach young women to stand up for themselves.It is also prompting conversations on campuses and in communities that many believe could be key to a cultural evolution.ALSO: Angus Reid: How ‘old guys’ like me view the #Me Too movement Sexual violence is so common that researchers in Ottawa have warned in recent years about predictable spikes in assaults during festival season in the city, including Canada Day on Parliament Hill.“You have to keep talking and keep checking in.”Most people are already doing it, she adds: “They just don’t know that is what they are doing.”Explaining consent using simple concepts has become a social media phenomenon.In a British-made video, sexual consent is compared to making someone a cup of tea.