Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

“Everyone Deserves to Live Free from Fear,” Says Charmain Williams Ontario Minister in Support of Sexual Assault Prevention Month Initiatives

In recognition of Sexual Assault Prevention Month, Ontario government officials, including Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, have issued a joint statement emphasizing the province’s commitment to combating sexual assault and gender-based violence.

“Everyone deserves to live free from the fear of threats, violence, and exploitation,” stated Minister Parsa, highlighting the government’s zero-tolerance policy toward sexual offences. The ministers pointed out the alarming statistics that one in three women and one in eight men in Canada experience sexual violence in their lifetimes, with even higher rates among Indigenous women.

The Ontario government is actively expanding its efforts to support survivors by investing $1.4 billion over four years. This funding will enhance a variety of critical services including emergency shelters, counselling, 24-hour crisis lines, safety planning, and transitional housing. Additionally, the government aims to boost women’s financial security and independence through skill-building and employment opportunities.

A key component of the government’s strategy involves fostering a more collaborative system among various professionals including child protection workers, police, judges, and healthcare providers to ensure a more effective response to victims.

The ministers expressed gratitude towards community partners for their ongoing efforts and dedication to supporting victims and survivors. They reinforced their commitment to a violence-free Ontario, laden with opportunities for all its residents.

For those affected by gender-based violence or at risk, the government encourages visiting Ontario.ca/safe for accessing resources and support.

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