Ontario Marks Sexual Assault Prevention Month

TORONTO — Today, Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, released the following statement:

“May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month and an important opportunity for us to join together in support of survivors, community service providers and advocates across the province to raise awareness about the horrific crime of sexual assault and all forms of gender-based violence.

Everyone deserves to live free from the fear of threats, violence and exploitation. Sadly, one in three women and one in eight men in Canada will experience sexual violence in their lifetime – and the rates of violence against Indigenous women are even higher. It is critical that people affected by this violence and exploitation receive the supports they need to recover and heal, while offenders are held accountable for their actions through the justice system.

Our government has zero tolerance for sexual assault and other sexual offences, and we are taking action to prevent and address violence against women and gender-based violence in all forms. We are investing $1.4 billion over four years in a broad range of supports for victims and survivors such as emergency shelters, counselling, 24-hour crisis lines, safety planning, and transitional housing supports. This also includes helping more women build skills and get jobs to gain financial security and independence.

We are also building a more connected system where child protection workers, police, judges, social workers, educators, and health care professionals collaborate and share information more often so that they can better support victims.

We want to thank all our community partners for their collaboration and tireless work to help victims, survivors and their children rebuild their lives.

Together, we can work towards an Ontario free of violence and full of opportunity for all.”

If you or someone you know has experienced gender-based violence or is at risk, visit Ontario.ca/safe to find resources and supports.