As a woman, ending sexual violence and harassment is a cause I feel strongly about — and as a leader, it is also one I know is right for Ontario. Our action plan is an affirmation that everyone in this province deserves dignity, equality and respect, and is a clarion call to all Ontarians to help end misogyny so that everyone can live free from sexual violence and harassment. – Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Sexual violence and harassment are shockingly prevalent in our society. Our Action Plan is a leap forward in ending both. It asks bystanders to get involved, parents and teachers to seed generational change, employers to ensure safe working environments, and communities to deliver strengthened services and supports for survivors. Together, we can make Ontario safer and more equitable for women and girls. – Tracy MacCharles, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime.
Sexual assault victimization rates are five times higher for women under the age of 35.
28 per cent of Canadians say they have been on the receiving end of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or sexually-charged talk while on the job.
These staggering facts are just some of the hard truths we still face in the lead up to International Women’s Day, 2015.
Today Ontario Liberal Party Leader Kathleen Wynne took action by releasing a document entitled It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.
The ground-breaking plan outlines concrete steps to help change attitudes, provide more supports for survivors, and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment. The government has committed $41 million over three years to support the plan’s implementation and will convene a permanent stakeholder Roundtable on Violence Against Women to provide advice to the government on ongoing and emerging gender-based violence issues.
The Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission (OWLC) applauds this bold new action plan to tackle sexual violence and harassment. The plan includes:
- A multi-media public education campaign to help change behaviours and call on bystanders to intervene;
- A new health and physical education curriculum that will help children, from Grades 1 to 12, develop a deeper learning about healthy relationships and consent;
- Stronger workplace safety legislation that, if passed, would require employers to investigate and address workplace harassment, including sexual harassment;
- An enhanced prosecution model tailored to the needs of sexual assault cases that will help ensure that all such charges are prosecuted as fairly, effectively and respectfully as possible;
- Legislation that, if passed, would eliminate the two-year limitation period for civil sexual assault claims and claims of sexual assault before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and;
- Increased and stabilized funding for supports for survivors provided by community partners.
Help spread the word about this bold new action plan by sharing the resources below with your networks.