It’s estimated that less than 1 per cent of sexual assaults experienced by women lead to a conviction. Reporting this violence to the police begins a process that is relentlessly re-traumatizing and does little to bring safety or justice to the survivor.
Jagmeet Singh will champion urgent criminal justice system reforms to transform responses to gender-based violence and foster a culture that believes survivors. This will include:
Fully funding the Status of Women Ministry to address systemic nature of gender-based violence
In a Jagmeet-led government, the Minister for Status of Women would have a specific mandate and funding to address the systemic nature of gender-based violence, especially as it affects Indigenous women, women of colour, women with precarious immigration status, women with disabilities, LGBTQI2S+ people, women with mental health conditions, women who earn income through sex work, women with precarious income, work or housing, women who live in rural, remote or Northern communities, and all other marginalized women.
Develop a National Gender-Based Violence Strategy
Through the Status of Women Ministry, a Jagmeet Singh government would provide coordination and leadership with provincial and territorial governments, community organizations and researchers, to develop a National Gender-Based Violence Strategy with an aim to:
Increase funding for legal aid to assist women reporting violence in the criminal justice system
Ensure consistency of legislation and coordination across jurisdictions; coordinate to tackle the root causes of gender-based violence including increasing social assistance rates to aid women with precarious income, housing or work
Protect women from gender-based violence, regardless of status
As Prime Minister, Jagmeet would immediately rescind the directive issued by Canadian Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that police must question survivors of gender-based violence, including sexual and domestic violence, about their immigration status. Jagmeet would do this to ensure access to protection, without fear, for women with precarious immigration status.
Ensure sexual assault reporting procedures do not re-traumatize survivors
As Prime Minister, Jagmeet will consult with sexual assault prevention and survivor advocates to improve the reporting procedures for sexual assaults to police, and to ensure survivors are not further traumatized by their experience and interactions with law enforcement. These consultations would include how to mandate a role for advocates to work alongside law enforcement, and maintain sexual assault survivors' rights and needs as a priority in the investigative process.
Public reporting for public accountability
A Jagmeet-led government would collect and regularly publish anonymized data on the number of sexual assault complaints made against law enforcement personnel, including the RCMP, and other federal enforcement agencies.