Karen Halady was a 19-year-old living on Montreal when the École Polytechnique massacre took place. She read the names of all the victims at a vigil at Spirit Square in Campbell River on Dec. 6, 2021. Photo by Ronan O’Doherty/Campbell River Mirror

Karen Halady was a 19-year-old living on Montreal when the École Polytechnique massacre took place. She read the names of all the victims at a vigil at Spirit Square in Campbell River on Dec. 6, 2021. Photo by Ronan O’Doherty/Campbell River Mirror

16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence returns to Campbell River

Campbell River and North Island Transition Society hosting events to stop violence

The Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (CRNITS) is asking people to come together again this year and take part in 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Starting on Nov. 25, the campaign will help deconstruct the inequalities that lead to violence.

“The campaign provides an opportunity to reflect on what we can do in our own classrooms, communities, and lives to eliminate the disproportionate violence faced by women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals,” said Diane Palmer from CRNITS.

November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

The 16 Days of Action start on social media: use the hashtags #16Days, #16DaysOfActivism and #ENDGBVTogther when sharing the actions people will take to help prevent and address gender-based violence. Purple is the international color for Domestic Violence Awareness. People are encouraged to change their profile picture to purple and wear a purple ribbon to show that they stand against GBV.

November 26: Education

Women, young women and girls, Indigenous women and girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and gender diverse individuals, women living in Northern, rural, and remote communities, and women living with disabilities all experience high levels of violence. Anyone living with more than one of these factors may be even at a higher risk. Gender-based violence is not limited to physical violence and can include any word, action, or attempt to degrade, control, humiliate, intimidate, coerce, deprive, threaten, or harm another person. It can take many forms, including cyber, physical, sexual, societal, psychological, emotional, and economic. Neglect, discrimination, and harassment can also be forms of gender-based violence.

November 27: Seek Help!

If people are in an unsafe situation, seek help.

VICTIMLINKBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be accessed by calling or texting 1-800-563-0808 or sending an email to VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.

November 28: Gender-Based Violence in the workplace

Domestic violence can happen at work, threatening women’s ability to maintain economic independence. More than half of study respondents who experienced domestic violence said that at least one type of abusive act happened at or near their workplace. Almost 40 per cent of those who had experienced domestic abuse said it made it difficult for them to get to work, and 8.5 per cent said that they lost their jobs because of it.

CRNITS suggests having universal communications to all staff to ensure they know where to look for the policies, who to talk to if they have questions, and where to locate GBV resources.

November 29: Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving where you can make an impact for non-profits and charities. Give back to local women’s, 2SLGBTQQIA+, or Indigenous organizations/shelters that work to prevent gender-based violence and support victim/survivors.

Locally, CRNITS is seeking support by asking for $16 dollars for the #16 days of activism. The $16 dollars provides coffee, tea and a light meal to eight women a day seeking shelter and safety from the elements at the women’s drop-in center.

November 30: Why does she stay?

Victims may rationalize staying by thinking “it’s not that bad” or “others have it worse.” They are not only judged by themselves but also by others who assume that they are making the choice to stay and that they have the power to end the abuse by leaving.

Just as frequently when talking about intimate partner violence, you’ll hear someone say “that couldn’t happen to me” or “I would never put up with it” or “I’d leave the second he raised his hand.” Those words are easy to say. That blame and implicit judgment is easy to hurl.

December 1: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Matter

Educate yourself about the disproportionate number of Indigenous women who are victims of violence in our society and use social media to share 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.

December 2: Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence affect us all

According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 67 percent of people know someone who has been abused. This includes sisters, neighbours and co-workers. Learn to identify the signs of abuse.

December 3: Register for the Coldest Night of the Year

Coldest Night of the Year is a super-fun, family-friendly fundraising walk that supports local charity partners across Canada who provide essential care and service for people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger. Register today at cnoy.org and walk on February 25, 2023.

December 4: Bring men into the picture

Bring men into the discussion. They are an important part of creating change. Men must take ownership of the issue, recognize and condemn domestic violence even in its most subtle forms, understand and discuss it not only with their sons, friends and colleagues, but also with their daughters and the women in their life. Women should no longer be solely responsible for educating and trying to prevent and fight against domestic violence.

December 5: International Volunteer Day

Agencies that help survivors of all types of abuse rely on volunteers. Reach out to local women’s, 2SLGBTQQIA+, or Indigenous organizations/shelters that work to prevent gender-based violence and support victim/survivors and volunteer.

December 6: Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

CRNITS is holding an event reflecting on the 14 victims who were murdered in Quebec because they were women. The event will be held at Spirit Square at 12 p.m. with drumming, speakers, a remembrance of the 14 victims from Quebec and information booths for people to collect relevant information on local resources.

December 7: Watch what you say

Change your language. How often have we laughed off comments like boys will be boys or accepted terms like be a 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.

December 8: Speak out and share your story

Share your information and break the stigma that domestic violence should not be talked about. Share your story, art or photograph on social media and tag #crnits.

December 9: Be an ally

Listen: be open to learning from the experiences of others. Believe: support survivors and those affected by violence. Speak out: add your voice to call out violence. Intervene: find a safe way to help when you see acts of gender-based violence.

December 10: International Human Rights Day

Everyone has the right to live free from violence. However, many Canadians across the country continue to face violence every day because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. This is referred to as gender-based violence (GBV) and is a violation of human rights.

If you look closely, you will see the roots of GBV all around you, in the jokes that demean LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit) people, in media messages that objectify women, and in the rigid gender norms imposed on young children.

Exercise your rights and allow others the freedom of a world of acceptance.

Some useful resource numbers if you or someone you know needs help:

Campbell River and North Island Transition Society: 250-287-7384

Ann Elmore Transition House 24-hour help lines: 250-286-3666

Text only line: 250-895-1773

Toll Free line: 1-800-667-2188

CR Sexual Assault Response Program 250-201-2150

Vancouver Island Crisis Line 1-888-494-3888

Purple ribbons can be picked up for free at Transitions Thrift Store located at 8830-13th Avenue.

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

Vigil at Spirit Square Monday, Dec 6 honours National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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