Message on Sexual Violence Prevention Month

Message on Sexual Violence Prevention Month
Message on Sexual Violence Prevention Month

Statement

All Canadians deserve to be safe and free from violence. May is Sexual Violence Prevention Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about sexual abuse and support those experiencing sexual violence in this country.

May 10, 2024 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

This message addresses topics that can be a Source of anxiety. If you or a loved one needs support, we encourage you to consult the resources available at: canada.ca/mental-health.

All Canadians deserve to be safe and free from violence. May is Sexual Violence Prevention Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about sexual abuse and support those experiencing sexual violence in this country.

In Canada, approximately one in three women and one in ten men are victims of sexual violence in their lifetime. More than 50% of women who were victims of childhood abuse reported being sexually assaulted again after the age of 15. Sexual violence disproportionately impacts minority groups, including Indigenous women and girls, people with disabilities, Black women and people from 2SLGBTQI+ communities, particularly young people aged 15 to 24. These groups often have access to fewer resources and face more barriers to getting help.

Sexual violence includes any type of sexual activity without consent. Consent must be clearly given and can be withdrawn at any time. Even if you are in a serious relationship, married or engaged, and regardless of the nature of your relationship, your partner cannot force you to have sex. Likewise, being drunk or drugged is never a defense for a person who commits criminal acts, including sexual assault.

Sexual violence can have serious physical and mental health impacts as well as long-term consequences. The Government of Canada is committed to preventing and treating the underlying causes of sexual violence in all its forms, and to supporting survivors and organizations fighting sexual violence and sexual abuse.

The Public Health Agency of Canada supports programs and interventions aimed at preventing gender-based violence and family violence, as well as its impacts on health. This includes advancing initiatives to prevent child abuse and youth dating violence, as well as initiatives that prepare health professionals to respond to gender-based violence.

Through the Victims Fund, Justice Canada invests in developing and improving programs that provide independent legal advice and representation to victims of sexual assault across the country. The Government of Canada has also made changes to ensure that victims and survivors of crime have a voice in the criminal justice process and are treated with respect and dignity. These changes include amendments to the Criminal Code aimed at making the criminal justice system more responsive to the needs of victims, clarification and simplification of publication ban laws, strengthening the National Sex Offender Registry and changes to the system bail to take into account the risks posed by intimate partner violence.

To help create a Canada free of gender-based violence, Women and Gender Equality Canada (FEGC) worked in partnership with provinces and territories to launch the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. sex. The Plan will prevent and respond to sexual violence through prevention and support services on campus, community support services for survivors of sexual violence, and training for front-line workers. The federal government’s contribution to this Plan is the Federal Strategy to Prevent and Counter Gender-Based Violence. FEGC also plays an important role in building a safer and more inclusive country through the Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan, a whole-of-government initiative that aims to advance the rights and equality of two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual people , transgender, queer, intersex and other sexual and gender diverse (2SLGBTQI+) people in Canada.

This Sexual Violence Prevention Month, learn about sexual violence and consent, what resources are available in your community, and how you can support survivors. The voices of survivors must be at the center of our national response to end sexual violence. Visit the FEGC website to learn more about sexual violence and consent, and the It’s Not Fair youth awareness campaign.

If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual violence, we strongly advise you to consult support services for people affected by gender-based violence or family violence resources, helplines and services in your region. Free mental health and addictions support services are also available to you.

Together, we can make Canada a safer place for everyone.

The Honorable Mark Holland, PC, MP

The Honorable Ya’ara Saks, PC, MP

The Honorable Marci Ien, PC, MP

The Honorable Arif Virani, PC, MP

Contacts

Christopher Aoun
Press officer
Office of the Honorable Mark Holland
Health Minister
613-291-4176

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada
819-420-6530
[email protected]

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
[email protected]

Yuval Daniel
Press Officer
Office of the Honorable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
819-360-6927

Nanki Singh
Press Officer
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
819-665-2632
[email protected]

Chantalle Aubertin
Deputy Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General
613-992-6568
[email protected]

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