Everyone deserves to feel safe anywhere they visit. My goal is not only to ensure that those who visit environments where liquor is served are free from sexual violence and harassment, but that workers and liquor license holders have the tools they need to make their premises safe and enjoyable for all.
The Safe Night Out Act has two main strategies:
- Changes to the Liquor Licence and Control Act will ensure every person working in an establishment with a liquor license – including supervisors, security and contract staff – receives evidence-based and trauma-informed training on sexual violence and harassment prevention.
- Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act would explicitly include sexual violence and harassment in the definition of workplace violence and require that both employers and employees receive approved training on workplace sexual harassment.
In 2021, Statistics Canada reported that sexual assault rates were at their highest since 1996. That same year, the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (ORCC) received over 37,500 crisis calls, versus 23,000 in the previous year.
We all play a role in making the province safer. It is time to move beyond awareness of sexual violence and harassment to actually preventing it.