Thank you, Madam Speaker. The incidence of sexual assault and child sexual abuse is increasing at an alarming rate in the Northwest Territories. Present victims' programs and services are woefully inadequate to deal with the alarming rise in sexual assaults and child sexual abuse.
What is needed in the Northwest Territories is a combination of approaches. What we have seen is, slowly but surely, increases and stiffer sentences for perpetrators. That has to continue. People who are convicted of sexual assault or child sexual abuse have to be told, in no uncertain terms, that it is unacceptable in our society.
There have to be stronger statements by political leaders. We hear a lot of very strong, positive statements by women leaders, but what we haven't heard enough of over the years is strong political statements by male leaders. We need immediate and long-term counselling and support for victims. We have a long way to go.
It has been said many times that there has to be ongoing education for everyone involved in the justice system and social services system. It has been documented in numerous reports, but between reports it seems to be forgotten. There can be no misunderstanding that men are the primary perpetrators of sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men then have the primary responsibility to put an end to it.
Sexual assault and child sexual abuse is totally unacceptable in our society. The statistics are frightening. Unless we do something about it, eventually its impact will be felt personally by everyone in this room. Thank you, Madam Speaker.