11/25/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/25/2022 11:10
Violence against women and girls is a global epidemic - and it affects all of us. It has come at such a great cost to society that awareness and prevention is needed. The CUE community is taking action today by recognizing International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and taking part in 16 Days of Activism. Today, students and staff will be wearing purple ribbons and presenting micro-events throughout the 16 days to bring awareness and impart useful information for prevention.
Speaking with William Logan, Manager for Housing and Prevention Education at CUE, he tells us that "Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which is a continuum of harmful behaviours which target people's sex, sexuality, gender, identity, and expression, is an urgent community health crisis. All forms of gender-based violence are rooted in power dynamics that manifest culturally, structurally, and interpersonally."
Stats Canada reports alarming statistics on violence against women:
Violence affects all facets of society, in fact it's now well understood that children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes. It also costs women economic opportunities from missed time at work, due to domestic violence at home or harassment in the workplace.
Fear of reporting
The person who perpetrates gender-based violence is the only party responsible - It is never the victim's fault. Women often fear being victim-blamed when they report abuse.
A victim of violence might be afraid of the abuser retaliating, and also be fearful of not being believed. It can be even harder to come forward if the perpetrator is in a position of power.
Throughout history society has made women feel guilty for damaging a man's reputation, when it is the perpetrator who damaged his own reputation by the very act of abusing. Victim-blaming has to stop.
Wiliam also points out that"Non-white women experience drastically higher rates of violence but are also less likely to be taken seriously, supported, or experience safety, in institutions like healthcare and policing."
Purple ribbons for November 25
Today, the CUE community will be given purple ribbons to show solidarity for women everywhere. "We are focussing on wider reaching opportunities in recognition of the community-wide nature of gender-based violence," says William. " This means increased social media content, drop-in activities in Tegler, one-to-one or small group conversations with those who have questions, and specific presentations designed for groups."
A brief introduction to some of the topics that will be covered during the 16 days are:
What is gender-based violence?
Gender-based violence is pervasive in our culture and manifests itself in different ways. Including::
William and his team are also educating people about consent and how to ensure sexual relations are respectful and safe for everyone.. He says that this explanation on consent from Courage to Actis important to keep in mind:
16 days of activism CUE activity guide
"Our efforts are focused on education about key concepts and ideas, sending encouraging supportive messages to survivors, cultivating male allyship, and more," says William. "Many of the events are as simple as reading two or three slides on Instagram, so we encourage community members to engage as much as they can."
William encourages students, staff and faculty, "if you are interested in a presentation about gender-based violence and consent for your department, team, classroom, club, group, etc. please feel free to get in touch and we can put something together specifically for you!" he says.
Keep your eye on social media for information and awareness strategies during the dates below: