Monthly video series addresses sexual health and gender-based violence

A photo of Leah Marshall and Darryl Ntow from the monthly video series. CREDIT: BRANDON GRUBB
Fanshawe sexual violence prevention advisor Leah Marshall (right) and Darryl Ntow (left) from the Middlesex London Health Unit dismantle myths and stigmas surrounding sexual education.

The Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) and the Fanshawe counselling office have worked together to create a series of videos that touch on different sexual health and gender- based violence support services.

“This is something that we started this semester. The videos will be coming out once a month during the school year,” said Fanshawe’s sexual violence prevention advisor Leah Marshall.

Marshall said that it is not just for students to access gender-based violence services but also for sexual health in general.

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“Maybe there are topics that students do not know where to find, or they may be scared or nervous to ask certain questions,” Marshall said.

Marshall, alongside FSU Videographer Brandon Grubb, said they want to make sexual health and gender-based violence service information accessible to students differently and more engagingly.

“By putting this into these YouTube videos, students can access it whenever they want in the comfort of their own home,” Marshall said. Marshall said they are focusing mainly on topics with many myths and stigmas surrounding them and backing them up with experts in the field.

“We are kind of debunking those stigmas and myths, letting students meet the service providers in the London community who are providing this care to them if they seek the services,” Marshall said.

Marshall said that with the videos, they are not just trying to spread information about student services. They are breaking various topics down and explaining what the services do for them.

“We are given a lot of misinformation, so it is better to just go right to the source and hear from these experts and providers,” Marshall said.

Marshall hopes to break down some barriers students might face when considering accessing some of that care. She also pointed out this video series will help students make more informed decisions and even ask more profound questions.

“More information is always better. Information is power,” Marshall said.

She said that if any student feels like they have not received an excellent sexual health education or have questions regarding a specific topic, they would now know where to go to find reliable information.

“Sometimes we read or hear about things, which is very broad, but we wanted it to be concrete and concise to Fanshawe students,” Marshall said. “Demystifying the services is our primary goal.”

Marshall reiterated that they always encourage and want students to reach out if they have questions. She added that the video series is a good starting point that might help students answer some common questions they might have.

“Some of the counselling services are only available during business hours. If students had questions outside business hours, they had to wait,” she said. “There are some students who maybe would not come to a counselling office to get that information. This is allowing us to reach a different audience.”

Marshall said that sexual health is something that needs to be talked more about.

“We live in a world that does not provide very good sex education. We do not talk about pleasure or how to get tested,” Marshall said. “There is a lot of shame that surrounds things.”

Marshall said that they are also trying to fight back against that shame and to let students know that looking after their sexual health is just like looking after their general health.

“We looked to make the videos very diverse. So they are all within the same topics but from very different perspectives, scenarios and service providers,” Marshall said.