by Madi Wong
According to Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef, the federal government will invest $1.5 million to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions over the next two years.
Monsef made her announcement on Thursday at Ryerson, with provost and vice-president academic Michael Benarroch and councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam among the community members who attended.
According to Monsef, 41 per cent of sexual violence cases that are reported to police are reported from those in post-secondary institutions and nearly half of self-reported sexual assaults are committed against women between the ages of 15 and 24.
“We know gender-based violence is complex,” said Monsef. “We know that it is preventable. We know that supporting family and survivors has to be at the heart of everything we do.”
In 2015, the government launched a five-year $5.5 million commitment to develop a framework to address and prevent gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions.
A report cultivated by experts from Possibility Seeds Consulting, a Canadian firm for policy development to advance gender equality, as well as government representatives, was launched in January 2019. Monsef said it’s meant to provide “a strong starting point” to “address and prevent gender-based violence action in various institutions.”
Monsef said that the federal government will continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure the framework supports the work that is already underway.
“I know that by working together, we will create a legacy bigger than any government or institution can do alone, we will empower survivors and women, strengthen families and communities and create a lasting change that benefits everyone,” she said. “Together we are moving forward.”