I like to think that we did start dealing with it.
We need to understand that in the global context, violence against women, and sexual violence in particular, has been named by the UN as a global pandemic. They don't throw those words around lightly. From a public health perspective, we've had Canada stand up and say that violence is a public health issue. If we were to treat this as a pandemic, we would be investing in it differently.
I don't want you to hear me say today that everything is about money, but it is true that without proper social investment we can't move the marker very far. We wind up with a revolving door of victims because we're recycling them into an environment that reoffends.
Doing this work has been my career for more than 30 years. I believe we're in a moment where we have the opportunity to make a difference. I believe there's enough of a groundswell of public support in beginning to understand this issue at a deeper level. We're not still in the headlines that we were in maybe 15 years ago when we had a cycle of just victim blaming. We're getting a bit deeper now. I believe there's public support for proper implementation of a proper program that requires all of us to sit down at an expert table and actually hammer out some education pieces.
Everybody says “prevention, not just intervention”, but prevention takes place every time we intervene. How we intervene, whether the experience of the justice system is a positive one or not, is a message sent out to everyone about prevention, because every time someone gets away with it, every time we have a crime that is treated with what is very near to impunity in a country such as Canada, that is a message to everybody about how we value these issues.
You are getting at it here, but it's not all that you need to do.