Sexual Assault Prevention Month in Ontario: A Time to Raise Awareness

Press release – Welland (Ontario), May 1st 2023

 May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month in Ontario. The Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara is taking this opportunity to emphasize the importance of raising awareness of the devastating impact of crime and mobilizing in support of victims and survivors.

Sexual violence affects one in three Canadian women.  A Statistics Canada report found that while the number of police-reported sexual assaults increased in 2021, the reported numbers are likely an underestimate, as assaults are often not reported to police.  Despite the numbers remaining stable, there is very little reporting, said Loubna Moric, interim director of gender-based violence programs at the CSCHN.

During the pandemic and after, cases of sexual assault have continued. It is a sad reality that sexual assault still disproportionately targets girls, women and people of gender diversity. We want to use this month to break down taboos and isolation. We are organizing awareness activities in the community and within the organization (launch of the campaign on our social networks, Café rencontre, lunch meeting) by promoting our ongoing campaigns: Traçons-les-limites, Ça ne passe plus! and Beaux mensonges. These three campaigns aim to raise awareness about consent, healthy relationships, and the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace and sexual exploitation. We will take the opportunity to highlight May 5 as National Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls Awareness Day, also known as Red Dress Day. In addition, May 11, Moose Hide Campaign Day, is a day of ceremony where Canadians are called to come together to speak out against violence against women and children and to take concrete steps to continue our collective journey towards reconciliation, continues Loubna Moric.

It is also a good time to remember that the Ontario government said very little about gender-based violence in its provincial budget, tabled last month. In a document of over 200 pages, why is violence against women only addressed in three paragraphs? There is no long-term vision to end violence in Ontario, concludes Michelle Peterson, Acting Executive Director of Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes.

At the CSCHN, a team of Francophone professionals is available to offer you and your loved ones a listening ear and personalized support services in complete confidentiality, whether by telephone, videoconference or in person.

You are not alone!

To learn more about our services, visit our website www.cschn.ca and our social networks or call us at 1-866-437-7606 (Hamilton) and 1-866-885-5947 (Welland).

For more information

Loubna Moric, Acting Director of Gender-Based Violence Programs