The Province of Ontario elected a Progressive Conservative, government on June 7, 2018.
At Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC), we have appreciated the significant work of the previous Ontario government’s It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Harassment, and its leadership in the Action Plan’s implementation, including the Premier’s Provincial Roundtable on Violence Against Women.
We also recently saw the launch of the Ontario Gender-Based Violence Strategy, which would directly increase funding to sexual violence support services in Ontario. The Ministry of Status of Women’s work, under the Ontario Liberal Party, made brave and effective efforts to raise awareness around sexual violence, improve support for victims, improve prevention education, and introduce policy that improved system response to survivors. In the time of #MeToo and #TimesUp, this work was timely —and in our opinion, unprecedented in our government.
We value the Province’s commitment to address gender-based violence, its prevalence, and the challenges facing survivors of violence. We hope this work continues – as many will agree, much more work still needs to be done.
OCRCC hopes to work with our new government to further this important cause. While change can be challenging, there can also be opportunities.
Here’s what we commit to do:
OCRCC will continue to speak up with and for survivors of sexual violence, address victim-blaming myths, and reduce stigma for those who have been sexually violated. We will also continue to speak up for women’s rights, including women and girls’ right to live free from violence, and for the rights of all marginalized and equity-seeking groups.
Be part of this work. Here’s what you can do:
1. Continue believing survivors of sexual violence in your communities.
2. Help connect survivors and those that care about them to sexual violence supports near you.
3. Advocate for government investment and support in community sexual assault support services.
4. Stand up for those who experience stigma and discrimination on the basis of their gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, and other factors.
5. Join and support organizations, movements and groups advocating for an end to sexual violence.
Together, we will make a difference.
Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) is a network of community-based sexual assault centres/rape crisis centres across Ontario. Sexual assault centres deliver free and confidential crisis, advocacy and ongoing support to survivors of sexual violence throughout all of Ontario. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, please go to http://www.sexualassaultsupport.ca.