Today, Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of the Status of Women, and Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, issued the following statement:
“Sexual violence and harassment against women is prevalent in our society. One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime. This is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.
That is why, on November 25, we acknowledge the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day, which begins 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, is an important opportunity to raise awareness about violence against women and all violence based on gender and to recognize and support those who have experienced abuse.
Our government remains committed to ending violence against anyone based on their gender, gender expression and/or gender identity. We are actively working to achieve this goal through strategies to end domestic violence, sexual violence and harassment, violence against Indigenous women, and human trafficking.
Despite the progress that has been made, we know there is still so much work to do. Over the past year we engaged with experts, groups and people with lived experience of domestic violence and gender-based violence across Ontario. We would like to thank those who participated in these engagement sessions. We are also grateful to Ontario’s Roundtable on Violence Against Women and the Executive and Provincial Committees to End Violence Against Indigenous Women for their invaluable and ongoing advice. As a result, plans are underway to update our Domestic Violence Action Plan and create a new gender-based violence strategy.
On behalf of the Ontario government, we thank the individuals, communities, agencies and organizations across the province who play a vital role in supporting survivors and their families. Your work is so important.
Finally, as we prepare for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, we must continue to challenge deep-rooted attitudes and behaviours that grow from misogyny and other forms of hate-motivated discrimination that lead to violence against women.
While our society has made great advances towards recognizing women’s rights and achieving gender equality, we cannot stop until we have put an end to gender-based violence once and for all.”