First Meeting for Ontario's Roundtable on Violence Against Women
Province implementing $41 Million Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment
Ontario's new permanent Roundtable on Violence Against Women will hold its inaugural meeting today at the Ontario Legislature. The roundtable is one of 13 key initiatives from It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, which was launched earlier this month.
The roundtable will provide advice to the government on ongoing and emerging gender-based violence issues and will assist the government in implementing the Action Plan. It will be co-chaired by Farrah Khan of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and Sly Castaldi, Executive Director of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis. Membership is made up of representatives from more than 20 organizations with experience and expertise in preventing and responding to sexual violence and harassment.
It's Never Okay is part of the government's plan to provide more security, protection and equal opportunity for all Ontarians. It will help ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety and is free from the threat, fear or experience of sexual violence and harassment.
- One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime.
- In three-quarters of sexual assaults the woman knows her attacker.
- Sexual assault victimization rates are five times higher for women under the age of 35.
- Women represent 83 per cent of victims of domestic violence.
- Domestic violence is significantly under-reported, less than one-third of incidents are reported to the police, and many victims are victimized multiple times.
“I look forward to hearing from and working with members of the roundtable as our government works to end sexual violence and harassment in Ontario. I also thank them for their commitment to this cause – their insights and experiences will help address broader issues of gendered violence and create a province where everyone can live with dignity and respect.”
“This roundtable will move the conversation on gender-based violence forward and out of the shadows. I am excited to work with the government and roundtable members to address an issue that is a reality for far too many women. I am optimistic we can reshape the conversation to deal with this harsh reality in a robust and publicly accountable way.”
“Creating a permanent Roundtable on Violence Against Women, highlights this government’s commitment to all women and to creating a just and equal society.”