Many Canadians still face violence every day simply because of their gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. It’s time for that to change. The Government of Canada is taking action to prevent and address gender-based violence (GBV).
Today, the Honorable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, announced It’s Time: Canada’sStrategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
“Gender-based violence remains a significant yet preventable barrier to equality,” said Monsef. “Canada will only reach its full potential when everyone has the opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are or where they come from. To achieve this, we need to work together to prevent gender-based violence. It’s time to believe survivors; it’s time to gain more knowledge about this problem; it’s time to invest in solutions. It’s time to act.”
It’s Time for a whole-of-government approach to prevent and address this form of violence, with new investments from:
Status of Women Canada;
the Public Health Agency of Canada;
Public Safety Canada;
the Department of National Defence;
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
It’s Time builds on federal initiatives already underway and coordinates existing programs. It lays the foundation for greater action and is based on three pillars that will improve Canada’s overall response to GBV:
Support for survivors and their families; and
Promotion of responsive legal and justice systems.
It will fill important gaps in support for diverse populations which includes but is not limited to: women and girls, Indigenous people, LGBTQ2 members, gender non-conforming people, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors. Men and boys will also be engaged in awareness initiatives.
“All Canadians must benefit from the fundamental principles of equality and dignity,” said Harjit Singh Sajjan, minister of National Defence. “Across our country’s diverse populations, it is important that every individual – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, economic status, abilities, or ethnicity – is able to live a life that is not overshadowed by violence. Together, we are committed to making this a reality.”
Budget 2017 included $100.9 million over five years, and $20.7 million per year ongoing, to go toward the implementation of It’s Time. This will include the creation of the Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre within Status of Women Canada. The Knowledge Centre will better align existing resources across government and support the development and sharing of research and data to enable more coordinated action on GBV.
(c) 2017 LGBT Weekly