#VoteWithSurvivors – Federal Election 2019
SFCC has compiled a list of 4 recommendations for candidates/policy makers in the upcoming 2019 Federal Election. Each ask is central to current sexual-violence related issues across the country, such as MMIWG, training for federal judges, oversight mechanisms for post-secondary sexual violence policies, reproductive justice, and more.
#1: Commit to Calls for Justice put forward by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls that are relevant to federal jurisdiction.
Numerous federal commissions and inquiries have examined inequalities faced by Indigenous communities, with little government accountability or action to the recommendations that have come forward. The issues faced by Indigenous communities, particularly women and girls, are deeply intersectional and systemic. Making meaningful change for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA peoples will require more than reforms. The government must commit to a decolonizing approach to policy reviews and matters of poverty, violence, natural resource extraction, health and well-being, and education. As stated by the Final Report, “the steps to end and redress this cultural genocide must be no less monumental than the combination of systems and actions that has worked to maintain [the ongoing] colonial violence for generations.”
#2: Create and implement an independent oversight body for students and student survivors to hold their institutions accountable for being in violation of their sexual violence policies and procedures.
It is clear that we need an independent oversight body either at the provincial or federal level to hear complaints from individuals at post secondary institutions who believe their safety has been compromised and/ or that their rights have been violated by their institution. There must be an accessible process for individual students and survivors of campus sexual violence to file a complaint against their institution to inform the Minister or Ministerial Office that their rights under provincial legislation are being violated.
#3: Commit to mandating that federally-appointed judges complete sexualized violence, social context and sensitivity training.
The Canadian legal system has long upheld colonial and patriarchal ideologies of law and consent that have marginalized and re-traumatized survivors of violence. Implications of mandatory intersectional sexual violence sensitivity training for judges would be far-reaching within the legal system and the lives of survivors. This type of shift, if undertaken meaningfully, would be a step in redefining justice for survivors.
#4 Uphold and protect reproductive justice across Canada by funding organizations that provide abortion services, supporting comprehensive sexual health education in schools, and launching an investigation into the forced sterilization of Indigenous women in Canada.
There is a lot of work to be done across the country before we are able to achieve reproductive justice for everyone. However, the federal government is in a position to be able to make a very significant difference in the current state of access to safe and accessible sexual and reproductive health care that centres free and informed consent across the country. Inaccess to sexual and reproductive health care is seen as a result of poverty, when in fact it is the other way around. Implementing these recommendations and supporting reproductive justice work across the country would be supporting poverty reduction across the country.