Fredericton – Memramcook-Tantramar MLA Megan Mitton, who is the Green critic for Women’s Equality and Human Rights, tabled a motion in the Legislative Assembly today urging the government to tackle the issue of sexual violence in New Brunswick.
“We know from the statistics that sexual violence is a growing problem in New Brunswick. The numbers of reports of sexual violence have increased, while at the same time, the number of people charged with such a crime have dropped significantly,” said Mitton. “We also know that the risk of sexual assault is not distributed evenly across gender, sexual orientation, and race. The vast majority of victims are women, with almost half under the age of 18. In Canada, Indigenous women are three times as likely to face sexual violence and LGBTQ people are twice as likely.”
The Motion urges the government to:
- Fully implement and fund the recommendations and actions in Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in New Brunswick: A Framework for Action;
- Examine the gaps in victims services provision through the Department of Justice and Public Safety, to identify and address gaps, especially in relation to where the crime occurred;
- Increase funding for frontline services, including transition houses;
- increase funding for trauma-informed support services, including access for all public post-secondary campuses
- Adopt legislation requiring standalone campus violence policies for all publicly-funded universities and including provisions ensuring student involvement in the drafting and amending process, as well as built in metrics to guarantee the clarity of the reporting structure at each institution.;
“I hope my colleagues will grasp the pervasiveness of sexual violence in New Brunswick and lend their support to fighting it,” said Mitton. “Sexual violence is not a women’s issue, but a societal issue that is complex by nature and requires a multi-faceted approach to see results. Government action in response this motion would be a step in the right direction.”
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