Today, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, issued the following statement on Sexual Assault Prevention Month:
“Sexual assault is a stain on society and is absolutely abhorrent. Our government has zero tolerance for violence in any form and we are committed to preventing it and supporting survivors.
May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the devasting impact of this crime, to better understand its deep cultural and historical roots, to support victims and survivors and to work together to stop the violence.
It’s also an opportunity to highlight the strength and resilience of survivors, and to recognize the accomplishments of the individuals and organizations that are working to raise awareness of sexual assault, support victims and prosecute offenders.
In Canada, one in three women and one in six men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Women are three times more likely to be stalked and four times more likely to be a victim of intimate partner violence.
Indigenous women and girls are even more likely to be victims of assault as are other racialized, minority and vulnerable communities.
And tragically, the prevalence of all gender-based violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This heartbreaking reality only serves to prove that more needs to be done within our neighbourhoods to ensure women are safe.
Eliminating this violence is the responsibility of each and every one of us – and I am proud of how our government is working to make this a reality through targeted investments focused on prevention and supporting survivors. We cannot stay silent on an issue that has devastating consequences to victims, survivors and their families.
We all have an obligation to do everything we can to raise awareness of sexual assault, support victims and survivors and hold offenders accountable. In the spirit of Sexual Assault Prevention Month, let’s continue building the conversation about sexual assault and protect the people of Ontario and their communities from this horrible crime.”