Candlelight vigils are held to mark the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique, on Dec.6 1989. (Erin Christie/Black Press)

Candlelight vigils are held to mark the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique, on Dec.6 1989. (Erin Christie/Black Press)

‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ launched by Campbell River and North Island Transition Society

The Campbell River Transition Society has created a blueprint for action against gender-based violence.

The society has launched a plan of action for individuals called “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.”

It’s a list of actions you can take between Nov. 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day. The idea has been in place in other communities and the Transition Society decided to implement it last year for the first time.

The idea is to dovetail it with movements to create change in society and encourage governments to take action on gender-based violence, said Diane Palmer of the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society.

Compounding the issue, of course, is the COVID-19 pandemic which is increasing the risk of domestic violence through confining people together under stressful circumstances. The list provides resources that can help people get through the pandemic.

“There is still help available,” Palmer said.

But it’s not just restricted to pandemic times, the list of actions can “help create change throughout the year past the 16 days,” Palmer said.

There are some practical actions that individuals can take locally, like shop and donate within your community, supporting places that make a difference like thrift stores, and there are national and international days of note, like the Coldest Night of the Year and the Day of remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women which commemorates the 14 victims who were murdered in Quebec because they were women.

Here are the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence:

What actions can I take to create change?

November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Today kicks off the 16 Days of Action! Start with an easy one: change your profile picture or cover photo on social media to show your support for ending gender-based violence. Color it purple or use the 16 days logo found at: https://16dayscampaign.org/ and use the hashtag #OurActionsMatter.

November 26: The pandemic has increased isolation, financial stress and substance misuse: all of these are contributing factors in domestic violence. Learn about the resources available in our community, where they are and how to access them. Put the 24/7 help line phone numbers (250-286-3666/1-888-667-2188 and the text only number 250-895-1773) for the Ann Elmore Transition House (or a transition house in your area) into your phone. Keep it handy – you never know when someone you know might need it.

November 27: Shop and use #BlackFriday and #SmallBusinessSaturday for good. Consider purchasing something that could be donated to a non-profit or donate gift cards to purchase warm winter clothing, food, pajamas and personal care items to go directly to those in need.

November 28: Change your language. How often have we laughed off comments like: boys will be boys or accepted terms like: good girl, darling, sweetie and babe. Gender stereotypes contribute to a world that allows violence and inequality for women. Commit to changing your language and interrupt those patterns.

November 29: Educate yourself and others in your workplace about how to make your workplace a safe zone with zero tolerance for sexual harassment and violence. Put it into action.

November 30: Be an ally. Believe victims of violence and sexual abuse. Comments that question how or why it happened take responsibility off of the abuser. Put the responsibility where it belongs.

December 1: Help to speak out about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. Educate yourself on the disproportionate number of indigenous women that are victims in our society and when you use Twitter and Instagram to share news articles, pictures, and information about missing or murdered loved ones you can use these tags #MMIWG #MMIW #MMIW2S #missingandmurdered #genocide #callsforjustice #MMNAWG #gonebutnotforgotten #REDdress #sistersinspirit #NotInvisible #NoMore. Go to our blog to see the work and passion of a local creative photographer, Kara Puetz as she profiles Indigenous women and girls using images incorporating the #RED DRESS symbol. https://www.annelmorehouse.ca/blog

December 2: Know the signs of abuse and what you can do to stop it. Share your information and break the stigma that domestic violence should not be talked about. You can read more here: https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/prevention/warning-signes-en.html

December 3: It’s #GivingTuesday and your money matters! You can help in the continuing effort to support survivors of abuse. Shelters and services for women are on the front lines of the pandemic and are more needed than ever. Locally you can donate to the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society through Canada Helps, www.annelmorehouse.ca or at https://www.facebook.com/annelmorehouse on FB.

December 4: Shop and donate with intention within your community. Support the places that you believe make a difference locally. Small businesses and thrift stores are a great place to start. You can find amazing treasures at Transitions Thrift Store @ 830 13 Ave.

December 5: International Volunteer Day! Agencies that help survivors of all types of abuse rely on volunteers to help them in their work. Due to the pandemic on site volunteers are often limited but you can find other ways to volunteer your time. Create a fundraiser, speak up about your experiences, follow our web page and find out what you can do. Together #OurActionsMatter!

December 6: Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Today we reflect on the 14 victims who were murdered in Quebec because they were women. Take a moment to consider what actions you can continue after the 16 days to stand up against misogyny, sexism and hate in order to foster a culture of respect.

December 7: Bring men and boys into the discussion. They are an important part of creating change. Take the time to find out what Canada is doing to bring inclusion to their efforts in seeking gender equality. https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/prevention/vawm-vefh-en.html

December 8: Seek Help! If you are in an unsafe situation, seek help. You are not alone! There is help available. Call 250-286-3666 or VICTIMLINKBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed by calling or texting 1-800-563-0808 or sending an email to VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.

December 9. Kick off Coldest Night of the Year 2021 by signing up today to walk virtually or in person. Help raise much needed funds for Campbell River and North Island Transition Society’s newest build: Eagle Manor. This 50+ unit building will be half transitional and half long-term housing with a focus on senior women.

December 10: It is International Human Rights Day. Gender based violence against women is a violation of human rights. The declaration of human rights was a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being; regardless of race, color, religion, sex language, political or other opinion, national or social origin property birth or status In short: we are all equal and deserve to be free from violence and abuse. Know your rights and allow others the freedom of a world of acceptance.

RELATED: COVID-19 restrictions could increase risk of domestic violence: RCMP


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