Sexual Assault Prevention Month

(2015 File Photo) Ontario Strengthening Laws to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment

May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month in Ontario.

There has been some progress for survivor-victims. The Globe and Mail’s Unfounded series drew much needed attention to critical issues facing sexual violence survivor-victims. The investigation also succeeded in getting Statistics Canada to resume reporting on how many cases of sexual violence are deemed “unfounded” by police. Locally, we interviewed Paula Lam, a Co-ordinator for Peel Committee Against Women Abuse (PCAWA) to discuss specific issues in our region.

However, there have also been reductions in services available for victim-survivors in the Region of Peel, with Hope 24/7 closing their doors on Fridays, laying off staff and limiting already long waiting periods for counselling.

The Government of Ontario earlier this year released a progress report on their 13-point plan to stop sexual violence and harassment. $41 million has been allocated over 3 years to support the implementation of this plan.  The report claims that “Within six months, there were clear and measurable results” and that “two-thirds of Ontarians surveyed recalled seeing the #WhoWillYouHelp campaign.”

This month, Brampton Focus will be shining a light on some of the organizations in the Region of Peel who support victim-survivors. We will examine how to prevent sexual violence, and issues that impact services available to victim-survivors. We will also look at what elements of Ontario’s 13-point plan are working and discuss new challenges.