Thursday, December 6, 2012

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Girls & Women

Over time I have become increasingly concerned about the ever-increasing force of the narratives of sexualization, violence and oppression of girls and women that have become common place in North American society.  

A day cannot go by in which girls and women are not exposed to multiple depictions of media and stories that normalize gendered oppression. This oppression is deeply embedded in the structures and institutions of our society and it impacts the day-to-day well-being, safety and lives of girls and women.  

Structural oppression impacts girls and women's employment and career choices and opportunities. It impacts our ability to financially support ourselves, our children and our elders. 

We must all continue to work together to achieve equality, to eliminate violence against girls and women. Boys and men are important partners in this fight against the oppression of girls and women. I believe that we can have equality and justice for all in Canada, it takes the will of the people working together to meet this goal. 

Organizations Supporting Girls & Women

Battered Women's Support Services (BWSS) 

Crisis, Intake & Counselling Line: 604-687-1867          
Toll-free: 1-855-687-1868

BC Society of Transition Homes (BCSTH)

Call: 604-669-6943 or 1-800-661-1040

For a list of Transitional Housing in BC click here.
Shelter listing in Metro Vancouver - As of October 2012

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Call: 604-681-8480

Drop-in, emergency shelter (604-715-8480), supports

Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA)

Phone: 604-633-2506

Vancouver Rape Relief Society

Call 604-872-8212 

24-hour rape crisis centre and services for victims of rape

Shelter for women and children trying to prevent or escape male violence 

VictimLink BC: 1-800-563- 0808 

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, more than 110 languages providing information and referrals to all victims of crime and crisis support to victims

Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) 

24 Hour crisis line: 604-255-6344;    Toll-free: 1-877-392-7583

- Counselling, Victim support services, Aboriginal programming

YWCA Metro Vancouver 

Call: 604-895-5800

Supports & Services for Women & their families


                                 Rose Campaign

YWCA Canada’s Rose Campaign to end violence against women and girls takes its name from the rose button created after 14 young women were murdered on December 6, 1989 and commemorates December 6 as Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. 

The Rose Campaign works year-round to reduce violence against women, increase public awareness and prevent violence before it starts.

Violence against women is a $4 billion problem in Canada. Each year, violence and abuse drive over 100,000 women and children out of their homes and into shelters. They face an uncertain future with a high risk of homelessness and poverty.

You can take action to change their lives.

Send a rose campaign message to your MP.
Donate to end violence against women and girls.

Canadians need to Work Together to end Violence Against Women

OTTAWA (December 4, 2012):    On December 6, Canada will focus once again on violence against women.  The National Association of Friendship Centres  (NAFC)  would like to take this occasion to publicly support those communities across the country, and the efforts of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, who are calling on the Federal government to establish a public inquiry and a national framework of action to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.   Aboriginal women are 3.5 times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to be victims of violence.

Since the 1980s, it has been estimated that thousands of aboriginal women have gone missing and have been murdered. Roughly half of the official murders and disappearances have occurred since the year 2000.  At present, there are 583 documented cases.  Unofficial accounts are significantly higher.  Aboriginal women between the ages of 25 and 44 are five times more likely than all other Canadian women in the same age group to die as a result of violence.  

Violence against aboriginal women has been at crisis levels for years.   It affects the individual, their families and the health of thousands of communities across Canada.   All levels of government and law enforcement need to work with aboriginal and non aboriginal leaders to prevent further injustice and build healthier communities.  Existing barriers must be eliminated so communities can begin to  solve many of  these cases  and to prevent this shame from continuing.  Only then can  faith in the justice system be restored allowing for communities to come together towards healthier outcomes.

Last year, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women began an inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Canada.  “Canadians need to recognize that Aboriginal women play integral roles in communities across Canada.  As mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers and aunts, women who are victims of violence should not suffer in silence.  We have been hearing their cries for years.  In a country such as ours, leadership and commitment are two first steps that will help us heal,”  says Vera Pawis Tabobondung, President, NAFC.

Friendship Centres throughout Canada have been working at the community level focusing attention on violence against women working with partners and other organizations to achieve the goal or reducing and eliminating violence that exists at unacceptable levels.   Aboriginal women (First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis) are more than eight times more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than non-Aboriginal women.

In 2013, the NAFC will lead a national Aboriginal awareness campaign to decrease domestic human trafficking among Aboriginal peoples.   The NAFC will establish a National Aboriginal Advisory Committee (NAAC) consisting of regional, youth and expert representation. The NAAC will devise and lead a community engagement plan to gather insight from a wide range of Aboriginal peoples across the country into the messaging and formats the national campaign materials should assume.   The project will  lead to an increase in knowledge sharing and awareness  around human trafficking and it will increase community capacity to combat human trafficking.

To support the Native Women’s Association of Canada, we ask the public to visit their website to learn more about violence against Aboriginal women and to sign the petition calling for a national inquiry at  

Selected Articles

The Facts on Violence Against Women - BWSS

Involving Men in Violence Prevention By Maggie Zielger, July 2008.

21st Century Practice: Transforming Women’s Lives. By Tessa Parkes, 2008.

Royal Commission on Violence Against Aboriginal Girls and Women
By Fran Smith and Lisa Yellow-Quill, April 2011.

Violence Against Women and Their Children in BC: 33 Years of Recommendations. EVA, April, 2012

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