Mr. Speaker, let me read into the record the opinion of an author quoted by Justice L'Heureux-Dubé, who overturned an Alberta court judgment acquitting a person accused of sexual assault.
One of the myths about rape is the idea that women dream about being raped; that even when they say no, they mean yes; that any woman could fend off a rapist if she really wanted to; that women often deserve to be raped because of their behaviour, the way they dress or their attitude; and that it is worse to be raped by a stranger than by an acquaintance.
As members know, this ruling was the subject of much discussion. However, you will agree that, discuss as we may, the distress of sexual assault victims can never be adequately expressed.
On this International Women's Week, we must take a long look at our collective responsibility regarding violence against women.
The controversy surrounding the Ewanchuk ruling must not obscure the primary message sent by the supreme court on February 25, namely that “no means no”.