Violence against women. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / artem_furman)

Province Calls For End Of Violence Against Women

Ontario’s top provincial leaders are declaring their commitment to ending violence against women on an international day of awareness.

Saturday, November 25 is recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day of awareness, which kicks off the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, is intended to open up the conversation about violence against women and support those who have experienced abuse.

According to UN Women, one in three women and girls will experience violence in their lifetime.

Ontario’s Minister of the Status of Women Indira Naidoo-Harris and Minister of Community and Social Services Dr. Helena Jaczek issued a joint-statement on Saturday to express the importance of the issue.

“Sexual violence and harassment against women is prevalent in our society. One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime. This is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” the statement reads. “Our government remains committed to ending violence against anyone based on their gender, gender expression and/or gender identity.”

The leaders say they are “actively working to achieve this goal through strategies to end domestic violence, sexual violence and harassment, violence against Indigenous women, and human trafficking.”

Over the past year, the Naidoo-Harris and Jaczek have engaged with experts, groups, and people with experiences of domestic violence and gender-based violence across Ontario. The pair says plans are underway to update the province’s Domestic Violence Action Plan and create a new gender-based violence strategy.

Similarly, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath seized the opportunity to discuss violence against women.

“On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, let’s join together to honour the bravery and strength of survivors — and resolve to work together to end violence against women,” says Horwath.

Ontario leaders also remind residents of Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women coming up on December 6.