According to a report from UN Women, nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. Based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced violence in some form, while only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help. The World Health Assembly declared violence against women a “leading worldwide public health problem” in 2006 and we know that the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue.
Today marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism. The UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign (Nov 25 – Dec 10) which aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world. The campaign calls for global action to promote advocacy, increase awareness, and create opportunities for dialogue on challenges and solutions.
This is a call to all BC educators to be allies to all women and girls in their classrooms, homes, schools, and communities. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors. As part of preventing and eliminating gender-based violence, survivor-centered essential services require sufficient program funding to support women in all realms of life including health, housing, justice, and law enforcement. We need to collectively address the root causes inclusively and comprehensively, change harmful social norms instead of perpetuating them, and empower women and girls. We hope you will join us in supporting our mothers, daughters, sisters – a slight against one of us is a slight against us all.
For more information and ideas on how to support the Elimination Violence Against Women, please visit the links below:
World Health Organization (WHO)
Global 16 Days Campaign to End Femicide
Women Deliver - Changemakers
If you or someone you know is a victim of gender-based violence, know you are not alone – there are people and resources for you to access:
Victim Link BC 24-hr (1-800-563-0808)
Battered Women’s Support Services BC
Sources Women’s Place Resource Centre
For more information, related lesson plans/activities for your classroom and school communities, and professional development opportunities, please visit BCTF.ca, as well as the resources below:
Safe at School
Ending Violence Association of BC