Week of May 08 – May 12, 2021
May is Sexual Abuse Prevention Month in Canada. Each year, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), such as Dufferin-Caledon’s own Family Transition Place, joins other agencies and groups, in educating Canadians on sexual abuse. Through education and awareness, we can examine and challenge our assumptions, and ultimately change our behaviour, to eliminate the problem of sexual abuse in our society.
In researching this particular topic, I found that over one-third of women report being sexually assaulted since they were 16 years of age and an estimated 572,000 women in Canada, were sexually assaulted in one year alone; that’s more than one assault per minute. In addition, victimization surveys suggest that only 10 per cent or fewer women who are sexually assaulted, report these assaults to the police. In the cases that are reported to police, 80 per cent of victims knew the accused – they were friends, acquaintances, or family members.
After examining such statistics, it’s clear that sexual abuse and violence is a serious social problem that everyone must work together to address and eradicate. It begins with each of us educating ourselves and those around us of the problem. It’s our responsibility to speak out against the problem and encourage those who have been victimized to no longer remain silent. It is also important to understand that sexual abuse against anyone, whether it is directed against women, children, men, seniors, people with disabilities, visible minorities, or anyone else is simply unacceptable.
On Friday, May 12th, Family Transition Place and the Caledon Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the “Stop Right There!” Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Proclamation, at the Caledon Chamber of Commerce’s office, in Bolton, at 11:00 a.m. I am very pleased to be participating in the event and to be doing my part in recognizing the importance of this month and taking positive action. I will be joined by other government representatives, business and community leaders, including Family Transition Place and the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, in signing the proclamation, which supports the creation of respectful workplaces that are free from sexual harassment.
I encourage you to come out and support the signing of the proclamation. If you are unable to attend, I strongly encourage you to discuss this very serious and important topic with your family, friends, and co-workers. If we all work together to raise awareness of this issue, we will be one step closer to eliminating abuse from the home, the workplace, and beyond.
For more information on “Stop Right There!” Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Proclamation, please contact the Caledon Chamber of Commerce’s office at 905-857-7393.