Today is an important milestone – the day that everyone should take a moment to consider the lifelong impact of violence against women and the irrefutable evidence of how domestic violence negatively impacts children who witness the assaults and psychological attacks. Human trafficking is real in rural Ontario and one of the most reprehensible forms of violence against women. Please, take that moment.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement:
“Around the world, in both peace and war, women, girls and vulnerable populations experience sexual assault and its lifelong adverse effects on health, including psychological, physical, sexual and reproductive health. Sexual assault, also used in too many instances as a weapon of war, is a violation of human rights and one of the main barriers to achieving gender equality. Too often, the victims are silenced while the perpetrators go unpunished.
Canada is a global leader in efforts to eliminate gender-based violence through diplomacy and advocacy. In developing countries, we support projects that address harmful norms that perpetuate sexual and gender-based violence. We also support survivors, so they can gain access to justice and the services they need to rebuild their lives, and work with partners to ensure that those responsible for gross human rights violations and abuses are brought to account.
Today and every day, we invite everyone to take a stand against sexual assault, and to join survivors and women’s rights activists at home and abroad who draw attention to the injustice of sexual assault and the social norms that condone it.
We also mark the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This global campaign, which runs until International Human Rights Day on December 10, draws attention to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. The aim of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—cannot be reached without first ending all forms of gender-based violence, including violence against women, girls and vulnerable minorities.”