Raising awareness in Québec about the new conversion therapy offences in the Criminal Code and the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ sexual assault survivors
November 7, 2022 – Montréal, Québec – Department of Justice Canada
Diversity and inclusion are among Canada’s greatest strengths. Everyone should be able to live a true and authentic life, free from violence and discrimination, no matter who they are or who they love.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced a total of $246,000 in Government of Canada funding to support three important projects.
Éducaloi’s “Demystifying the legal aspects of sexual assault in LGBTQ+ communities” project, aims to support victims of sexual assault, or people who work with them in this context, to make informed decisions regarding possible legal and non-judicial processes. To achieve this, Éducaloi will produce a pocket guide that will offer information and avenues for reflection on the various steps survivors can take. They will receive $79,000 over two years for this project. Funding for this project is the result of an open call for projects to improve access to justice and services for all victims of crime, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of vulnerable victims, including 2SLGBTQI+ people, provided through Justice Canada’s Victims Fund.
Éducaloi has also received support for the “Protections of the law against conversion therapy” project to help raise awareness about the recent criminalization of conversion therapy in Canada, as well as victims’ rights. They have received $90,000 over two years for this project.
In addition, the Fondation Émergence has received support for its “Putting an end to conversion therapy” project, to promote awareness of the criminalization of conversion therapy by offering individuals and intervention settings, such as schools, police services, and health and social services, informational tools to recognize and demystify conversion therapy and by directing victims and those around them to psychological and legal support resources. They have received $77,000 over two years for this project.
Conversion therapy-related funding is provided through the Victims Fund in response to an invitational call for proposals launched in December 2021 for organizations to develop resources to raise awareness about the new Criminal Code offences related to conversion therapy, and bring light to this new class of victims.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe. I applaud the tremendous work that Éducaloi and the Fondation Émergence are doing to support 2SLGBTQI+ communities in Québec by raising awareness about the tools and services available to survivors of sexual assault or conversion therapy, and by offering the tools to recognize conversion therapy practices. In January 2022, Canada criminalized conversion therapy. No one should have to face the harmful effects of this devastating practice.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“Our government acted to ban conversion therapy practises and support the 2SLGBTQI+ community because it was simply the right thing to do. We listened to survivors and victims who shared the trauma that they still live with which requires ongoing support. We will continue to support survivors through the Victims Fund to continue righting the wrongs of this nefarious practice.”
The Honourable Marci Ien
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“ Having access to clear legal information on conversion therapy and on sexual assault allows the people affected to make clear decisions and take back power over their lives. This is Éducaloi’s important mission: to inform the people of Quebec about the law and develop their legal skills. We are very pleased that the funding from the Department of Justice Canada will enable us to take concrete action in regard to the LGBTQ2+ community.”
Executive Director, Éducaloi
“ The goal of conversion therapy is to force us to be someone else. But homosexuality and being transgender are not illnesses, nor are they beliefs. The Fondation Émergence welcomes the recent legislative efforts in Canada, which is one of only eleven countries that criminalize these therapies. This recent support for victims is needed, since these people have suffered significant physical and psychological damage.”
General Manager, Fondation Émergence
According to a Statistics Canada survey, in 2018, almost six million Canadians, 30% of women and 8% of men, had been a victim of sexual assault since age 15. 55% of both Indigenous women and bisexual women reported that they had been sexually assaulted since the age of 15.
According to the results of the 2019-2020 Community-Based Research Centre Sex Now Survey, 10% of sexual minority men who responded to the survey had been subjected to conversion therapy practices. The results of the Survey also showed that lower income, Indigenous, racialized and gender-diverse persons are disproportionately represented among those exposed to conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy practices aim to change an individual’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, to change an individual’s gender identity to cisgender, or to change their gender expression to match the sex they were assigned at birth. They harm and further stigmatize sexual and gender-diverse persons and undermine their equality and dignity.
Conversion therapy practices reflect myths and stereotypes about Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (2SLGBTQI+) communities, particularly that their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression are wrong. These harmful practices also reinforce heteronormative and cis-normative ideas, as well as gender-conformity on 2SLGBTQI+ individuals.
Changes to the Criminal Code made in 2021 banned and criminalized conversion therapy practices.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
Lead Advisor, Communications and Philanthropy
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