Minister Guergis attends YWCA Rose Button campaign launch

Highlights tough-on-crime measures and increased resources to end violence against women

OTTAWA, Nov. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of State (Status of Women), today attended the launch of the annual YWCA Rose Button campaign to end violence against women and girls, on Parliament Hill, and kicked off the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

November 25 marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which culminates with Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.

"This day is an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the countless women and girls worldwide for whom violence and the threat of violence are a daily reality," said Minister of State Guergis. "Violence against women affects us all. It destroys families and communities and knows no bounds - social, economic, racial or geographic. We face violence in our workplaces, in our homes and in our communities. This violence takes many forms, domestic violence, violence against Aboriginal women, sexual assault, cyberstalking, date rape, culturally based offences such as female genital mutilation and honour killings as well as human trafficking, yet we need to name it for what it is: violence against women."

"Ending violence against women is everyone's responsibility: all levels of government, police, the justice system, civil society and other stakeholders," said Minister Guergis. "Our Government has invested in policing, youth crime prevention, tougher mandatory prison sentences for serious gun crimes, combating gun crime and support victims of crime. We are focused on ending the use of conditional sentences, including house arrest, for serious offences such as violent or sexual crime."

The Government of Canada has taken significant action to better protect Canadians from those who would commit serious crimes, and to strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice system.

Status of Women Canada's Women's Program continues to provide funding to community-based groups across the country. Since 2007, the Government through Status of Women Canada has funded 117 projects, totalling $22 million, that work to eliminate violence against women.

Ce communiqué est également disponible en français.

For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to:

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For further information: Emily Goucher, Senior Special Assistant, Communications, Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819) 956-4000; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Strategic Planning, Status of Women Canada, (613) 995-7839

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