Violence against women

Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality: Q&A with Kevin Vowles

Kevin Vowles
There were sparkly red stilettos, strappy metallic sandals, and snakeskin mules. Many men put on high heels with pride (and with socks) for the White Ribbon Campaign’s annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes fundraiser earlier this month. 
 
“It was inspiring to see so many people walking to create awareness about violence against women and showing their support for the work of White Ribbon,” says Kevin Vowles, the organization’s Community Engagement Manager.
 
Since 1991, the White Ribbon Campaign has rallied men and boys to become allies in ending violence against women. Before joining the organization, Kevin spent four years working with youth in a teen healthy relationships program on Salt Spring Island, B.C. that has received funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Thank You for Your Messages to Women in Shelters!

Alone. Isolated. Afraid. That's how we often feel when faced with a difficult decision or a new journey in life.

Just knowing that someone is on your side, or has overcome similar obstacles, can make each step easier to take.

For Haydee, who summoned the courage to leave an abusive relationship with her young daughter, words of support became a lighthouse in the middle of a dark ocean. 

Her story has inspired many of you to support the Foundation's Campaign to End Violence, by donating and sending a message of support  to women in shelters. 

Thank you to all of you who reached out with heartfelt messages of support. You can still contribute a message through May 31!

Can You Connect Me with a Survivor?

 

Here at the Canadian Women's Foundation, one of the requests we get most from media is "can you connect me with a survivor?"

 

Those reporting on violence against women and girls often want to hear first-hand what it was like to experience domestic violence, sex trafficking, or sexual assault.

 

In the best-case scenario, it's because the reporter wants to personalize and contextualize the issue so that they, and their readers, come away with a better understanding and can work toward ending violence.

Justice for Sexual Assault Survivors: A Look at Alternative Methods

This March, federal court justice Robin Camp resigned after a 15-month inquiry. His conduct during the questioning of a 19-year-old woman during a rape trial included wildly inappropriate comments like “sex and pain sometimes go together.” During the inquiry, the woman said the experience left her with suicidal thoughts.

That same month, a Nova Scotia judge acquitted a taxi driver who was charged with sexual assault on the basis that his passenger, although heavily intoxicated, was capable of consent. Police had found the man with his pants unbuttoned and holding the woman’s urine-soaked underwear, while she lay unconscious and half-naked in the back of his cab.

Back On My Feet

Five years ago, I made the most vital and life-saving decision I’d ever made. I chose to break up a 14-year relationship with the father of my four children. The break up was a no-brainer, really. It should have happened years before it finally did; women in abusive relationships face many barriers to leaving.

I went from a strong, independent, self-reliant woman to being completely controlled by and dependent on someone else. It didn’t help that he was verbally abusive, both to me and my kids. When we actually did speak, his words were filled with sexual innuendos and/or insults, usually in front of the children.

How To End Violence Against Women? One Step Is Teen Healthy Relationships Programs

“Young women are telling us loud and clear they’re worried about the future of gender equality in Canada,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She’s responding to the sobering findings of a new Canadian Women’s Foundation study that indicate 79 per cent of Canadians believe Gen Z women (those born after 1999) will be just as likely or even more likely to feel unsafe because of their gender.

The study asked participants whether they expect the next generation of women to experience various forms of violence: sexual assault, online harassment, physical violence from a partner, as well as sexual harassment in public or at work. In all of the categories, the majority said violence against women will either persist or get worse.

Free Advice Helps Survivors of Domestic Violence Face Legal Labyrinth

This is an updated version of a story originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE magazine.

When Maya* left her abusive husband, she feared for her children’s safety. To protect them, she waived her financial and property rights in exchange for an agreement that her husband wouldn’t seek custody of the children. He later changed his mind and took her to court to demand access.

Maya couldn’t afford a lawyer, but didn’t qualify for legal aid. For guidance, she turned to the Jane Doe Legal Advice Clinic, a service that was delivered by West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) in Vancouver, BC.

Putting the Pieces Back Together After Abuse

7.4 billion is the annual estimated cost of spousal violence in Canada

As part of the Foundation’s annual Campaign to End Violence, we’re asking Canadians to make a donation and send a message of support to women in shelters. It was the support and encouragement of others that helped Haydee rebuild her life after experiencing violence many years ago. In today’s blog post, Haydee shares some of her story and reflects on what she would say to her younger self.
 
Years ago, I was living in isolation land. I had made the difficult decision to take my daughter and leave an abusive relationship, with only a small suitcase and a few family photos in hand.
 

6 Ways to Get Involved in the Campaign to End Violence

7 in 10 people who experience family violence are women and girlsWhen Haydee made the heart-wrenching decision to leave an abusive relationship, she felt “alone on a life raft, in the middle of a dark ocean.”

With the help of counselling and encouragement from others, she and her daughter began rebuilding their lives.

“That feeling (of support) fuelled my courage and strengthened my determination to start anew.”

What can you do to support women who have experienced violence?

4 Tips For Self-Care

Women sitting in cafeDid you come back from the holidays feeling like it wasn’t exactly a holiday?

Are you back at work, staring blankly at a mountain of emails in your inbox, realizing that you never actually had time to put your feet up amid the whirlwind of travel plans, family gatherings, and last-minute-gift dashes?

If your own needs tend to fall off of your to-do list, now is a great time to think about self-care. And it’s not about spending hundreds of dollars at a spa or committing to daily meditation—it’s just about setting aside pockets of time for activities that help you unwind and reset.