In recognition of the 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign

November 25 marks the beginning of the 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign. The campaign is run locally by the Victoria Faulkner women’s shelter, Les EssentiElles and, in Dawson, by the women’s shelter. This year’s theme, as mentioned, is “Call It What It Is,” with a focus on the language that is used when discussing and conversing about violence against women.

Language used in sexual assault cases too often attempts to normalize, or to hide, acts of violence. To change the dialogue on violence against women is to change the language that we use in everyday life and also to change the language that we use to talk about violence against women. Aggression and assault toward women is, unfortunately, too common here in the Yukon. Sexual assault will happen to more than one out of four women in Canada. The number jumps even higher in the First Nation communities.

Only 10 percent of all cases of sexualized assault are reported to the police and, even worse, only a tiny fraction of those cases ever receives a conviction.

The month of November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month. There has been strong public dialogue in the wake of several allegations against public figures and there are a number of events and activities that will be taking place to help spread public awareness of violence against women in the buildup to the National Day of Remembrance. I encourage all members of this House to actively take part.