Message from the Minister of Health: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov 25, 2017) and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (Nov 25 to Dec 10, 2017)


Living a life free from violence is a basic human right. Yet gender-based violence is a reality for many Canadian women and girls, as well as LGBTQ2 and gender non-binary people.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It also marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day. 

On this occasion, I ask you to join me and other Canadians in raising awareness and sharing the message that #MYActionsMatter to end gender-based violence.

As you may already know, it is estimated that globally one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Indigenous women in Canada are at an even higher risk of experiencing violence than non-Indigenous women. In addition, almost half of people aged 15 and older who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual report having experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse (48%).

Gender-based violence, including family violence, can have serious health effects, with both immediate and long-lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of survivors, and with consequences for families, communities and society as a whole.

It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence is the Government of Canada’s response to gender-based violence.

The Government of Canada is investing in a range of innovative approaches that aim to prevent family violence and help survivors rebuild their lives and regain their health. The Government of Canada is also committed to continuing to enhance supports for Indigenous women through trauma-informed and culturally relevant services and resources, such as mental health counselling and health care services.

I am proud of the work that is being done in communities across Canada to help women and LGBTQ2 and gender non-binary people and their families. But there is more to be done. By working together to foster positive relationships, build healthy families, change attitudes and promote gender equality, we can address and help prevent gender-based violence.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health 

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