Our Recommendations #BeenRapedNeverReported
November 11, 2014
First area: promotion of fundamental values
Re-centre the social approach, and as such, return to the ultimate goal of the Orientations gouvernementales en matière d’agression sexuelle (government guidelines regarding sexual assault), that being to eliminate relationships of power and domination toward women and children and integrate an intersectional approach into the third action plan.
Second area: sexual assault prevention
Offer sex education classes starting in elementary school that encourage non-violence, self-esteem and egalitarian relationships while developing students’ critical thinking;
Recognize the CALACS’ (Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les aggressions à caractère sexuel) prevention and awareness-raising programs for young people and promote them to all those working in schools;
Address notions of power and control in the next awareness-raising campaign in order to achieve a real preventative reach;
Recognize the CALACS’ feminist analysis in their three areas of intervention (direct assistance, prevention and awareness-raising, rights defense);
Inform immigrants, upon their arrival, about the laws that protect equality between men and women and that criminalize all types of sexual assault; inform newcomers about their rights and recourses as well as on existing resources;
Include measures that specifically meet the needs and expectations of racially and ethnically diverse women, including Aboriginal women when it comes to sexual assault, by supporting their various demands;
Equip institutions that work with vulnerable groups, such as women with disabilities and elderly women, with clear protocols and policies in regard to sexual assault.
Third area: sexual assault detection:
Promote and provide training activities to all workers in the health and social services, education and justice networks and involve the CALACS’ expertise in developing content and carrying out training activities.
Fourth area: psychosocial, medical, judicial and correctional intervention
Foster freedom of choice for women and teenage girls who have been sexually assaulted in the processes they wish to undertake, particularly by ensuring them access to alternative, feminist and rights defense resources of their choice, whether or not they choose to report their assault and whether or not they come to a designated centre;
Put into place a social policy for meeting the needs of women who have been victims of prostitution, trafficking and cyberpornography; adopt criminalization and accountability measures for “prostituting” clients, pimps and traffickers;
Maintain and develop the listening, information and referral hotline;
Put into place the conditions for success to reduce the obstacles women encounter – low retention rate for sexual assault complaints, too-long delays, revictimization, etc. – as part of the legal process, facilitate the process for victims who choose to lodge a complaint, and as such, improve trust in the justice system;
Educate health and social services, designated centres and police corps about the existence of alternative assistance and accompaniment services, and include these services on their list of initial resources to be offered to victims who make reports.
The conditions for successful intervention work
Provide continuing education for intervention workers;
Put into place reliable data collection tools that are tailored to women’s diverse realities in order to document the obstacles encountered by sexual assault victims in their process to meet their needs; list, publish and disseminate this data annually;
Conduct studies that document the impacts of the intersection of various systems of oppression, discrimination and exclusion and structural factors such as the Indian Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act on the vulnerability of women facing sexual violence;
Ensure appropriate funding and resources necessary to carrying out the third government action plan;
Reassign a central role to the MSSS in regard to intervention and prevention, and attach sufficient funding to allow it to play that role;
Consider the CALACS as principal and essential actors at the core of the third government action plan and include their funding in the mission.
Consult the full document (French only) " Mettre fin à la violence sexelle au nom d'une réelle égalité entre les sexes" (Ending SEXUAL VIOLENCE in the name of true equality between the sexes) , Recommendations adressed to the Comité interministériel de coordination en matière de violence conjugale, familiale et sexuelle by the RQCALACS in preparation of the Third government action plan on sexual assault.
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