Statement from Minister of the Status of Women
Today, Harinder Malhi, Minister of the Status of Women, issued the following statement:
"May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month.
This year's theme is "Embrace Your Voice", a call to action for everyone to work together to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of sexual violence, continue to support survivors and stop gender-based violence in all its forms.
Gender-based violence can happen to anyone, not just women. But the evidence shows that women and children are most at risk and this is even greater for racialized, Indigenous and newcomer women, women with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2 community.
This past March, the province launched "It's Never Okay: Ontario's Gender-Based Violence Strategy," a comprehensive plan to end gender-based violence, and a commitment to a safer future for all women and girls in this province.
The strategy will help survivors and families get the support they need, when they need it. It will prevent violence before it begins by intervening early and working to change attitudes and norms that perpetuate the cycle.
As a result of the strategy, up to 1,000 more women and children will have a safe bed and up to 2,000 more women and children will get the counselling support they need when they need it, including access to culturally safe counselling. In addition, a 35 per cent increase to the overall budget for sexual assault centres will help meet the growing demand for services and serve more vulnerable populations such as mature minors.
This year, as we mourn the loss of too many women to in this province, it is critical we continue address and root out misogyny.
As Minister of the Status of Women, I want to reaffirm the government's commitment to pursuing gender equality every day of the year, but Sexual Assault Prevention Month is an important reminder of all the work still ahead."