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Kathleen Wynne vows to end sexual violence, harassment in Ontario

03/06/2015 09:42 EST | Updated 05/06/2015 05:59 EDT
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is reforming the way the province treats sexual violence and harassment — both its prevention and the treatment it gets from institutions such as universities.

Wynne's "road map to end sexual harassment," which she laid out Friday, includes:

- A multimedia awareness campaign.

- Training for front-line workers in the health care, justice and tourism industries who may be the first point of contact in assault or harassment complaints.

- Increased funding for sexual assault crisis centres.

- Confronting misogynist culture beginning in early education, with the new sexual education curriculum.

- Free legal advice to sexual assault survivors.

- Changes to legislation to move more quickly with assault and harassment complaints.

The premier is calling her campaign It's Never OK, and said its goal is to end the existing "culture of misogyny."

"Today, I'm challenging everyone in this province to step up and help end sexual harassment," she said in a speech in Toronto.

She said victims must be better supported, ensuring that women who are "brave enough" to come forward with complaints aren't re-victimized.

Wynne's action plan, which was meant to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8, was announced in December in the wake of sexual assault accusations against former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi.

Research suggests one in three Canadian women will face some kind of sexual violence or harassment in their life, yet most don't report it, Wynne said.

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