Message from the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women

Federal Strategy on Gender-based Violence

Gender-based violence continues to have devastating impacts on Canadian individuals, families and communities. The effects of such violence can be long-lasting and profoundly affect many aspects of a person’s life. From feeling unsafe in one’s own home, facing barriers to employment, to being isolated from family, friends and community members — the effects of gender-based violence (GBV) often persist long after the violence itself has occurred. It’s time for that to change.

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 GBV. It’s time to share our knowledge; it’s time to believe survivors; it’s time to take action. This is why I’m proud to announce It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

I am grateful for the outstanding work of my predecessor, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, in particular, for her leadership during the engagement process that laid the foundation for the development of the Strategy. Minister Hajdu spent many months in 2016 listening to Canadians — from academics and experts, to front-line service workers, to survivors themselves. Their insights are guiding us each step of the way, and I am honoured to build on that work.

Whether it is an immigrant woman living in Vancouver, a young woman on campus in Hamilton, a woman with a disability in Moncton, or an Inuit girl in Cambridge Bay — GBV affects everyone differently, and there are some populations that are at greater risk than others. It’s Time will consider all of these factors and put forward actions tailored to the unique needs and experiences of Canada’s diverse populations.

As GBV happens everywhere and affects everyone, we need an approach that is based on solid evidence. There is a lot of good work already underway across the country to prevent and address GBV, and the Strategy will build on those efforts. We will continue to explore opportunities to engage with provincial and territorial governments and other stakeholders.

We all have a role to play in addressing GBV. We must come together with our partners in the community to coordinate and multiply our efforts. Together, we will succeed in making Canada safer and more inclusive for all and, in so doing, save future generations by stopping GBV before it starts.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

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