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Political leaders should support accusers and alleged offenders in healing process, says Towtongie

It is the duty of leaders to support all individuals who need healing. This includes supporting victims and abusers -- the innocent and guilty -- according to Cathy Towtongie, MLA for Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet.

On Monday, Towtongie made it clear that she is concerned about the current approaches to addressing sexual assault.

Cathy Towtongie said, "We need to work towards supporting all those who need to heal.”
photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

She raised how national leaders “immediately” favour the individual who makes a public accusation against another.

“It is not easy and certainly not popular to defend someone who has committed a terrible act against others. However, victims need our support but so do victimizers. They are both suffering,” she said.

Although there is no excuse for abuse, there may be several reasons for it, explained the MLA.

Leaders need to work harder to address the reasons why individuals behave badly towards others, said Towtongie.

“It takes courage for a person to stand up and say they will no longer be treated badly, but it also takes courage for a person to stand up and say they need help to no longer treat others badly," she said. “As leaders we cannot take one person against another. We have to treat each other equally, both victims and victimizers.”