Women's groups want province to act against sexual exploitation
Published Thursday, October 13, 2016 12:50PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 13, 2016 8:54PM EDT
A coalition of women's groups is calling on the provincial goverment to stop talking and start taking action to stop sexual exploitation.
The umbrella group organizations that fights sexual aggression (CALACS) said it's been waiting several years for the provincial government to stop the sex industry.
Elaine Legault-Roy of La Cles, a group that helps women trying to leave the prostitution industry, said the issues have been studied long enough.
"Even outside of the women's groups there is also the RCMP... They are also producing knowedge about sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual aggressions and all that stuff.
The government doesn't have the excuse of not knowing. The knowledge is there," she said.
Legault-Roy said that Quebec police were informed of 16,000 sexual crimes from 2012 to 2014, which it estimates is only five percent of the actual number of sexual offences.
The people protesting Thursday morning in downtown Montreal said the government has acted in very small ways, by helping girls living in group homes that are believed to be lured away by pimps, and investigating alleged sexual assaults against indigenous women in Val d'Or, but has yet to do anything on a widespread scale.
"We really just need to go to the next step, which is acting," said Legault-Roy.
They also called for a global strategy and someone with the political will to exercise it.
As an example they referred to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump.
There were three cases of Trump being accused of committing sexual assault, with at least one case due to be heard in court later this year, before half a dozen new accusers came forward this week.
Those cases have been met with a backlash from the politician's supporters.
Legault-Roy said this is an example of the myth that women will make up stories of sexual assualt. when the reality is that fewer than four percent of reports of sexual assault are false -- about the same as false reports of all other crimes.