Liberals to take concrete action on domestic violence and sexual assault 

MONTREAL – A Liberal government will give greater support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, and ensure that more perpetrators are brought to justice, said Liberals today.

“Every day, far too many Canadians – overwhelmingly women – experience sexual violence, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence. Liberals believe that we must do more to strengthen supports, create safer spaces, and challenge the deep-seeded attitudes that underlie this damaging behaviour,” said Liberal candidate for Ahuntsic–Cartierville, Mélanie Joly. “A Liberal government is committed to bringing forward measures to better protect vulnerable groups – especially women and children – and better support the organizations that work hard to keep victims safe and help them build new lives free from violence and fear.”

A Liberal government will:

  • Increase investments to grow and maintain Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses, as part of our historic ten-year investment of nearly $20 billion in social infrastructure;
  • Work together with victims, experts, and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender-violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies;
  • Review current gender- and culturally-sensitive training policies for federal front-line law enforcement officers to ensure that they are strong and effective;
  • In partnership with provinces and territories, work to bolster public awareness campaigns, and take action to ensure that Parliament and federal institutions – including the public service, the RCMP, and the Canadian Armed Forces – are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence;
  • Eliminate the two-year waiting period for spouses immigrating to Canada, so they can receive immediate permanent residency; and
  • Amend the Criminal Code to reverse onus on bail for those with previous convictions of intimate partner violence, specify that intimate partner violence be considered an aggravating factor at sentencing, and increase the maximum sentence for repeat offenders. 

“Liberals have long called for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, and we will immediately launch an inquiry if we form government,” said Liberal candidate for Terrebonne, Michèle Audette. “As a long-time advocate for women‘s issues, I am proud that a Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau is committed to taking real, concrete action to improve the lives of those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. We can, and will, do more to prevent domestic and gender-based violence, hold abusers to account, and help survivors seek and achieve justice.”