Category:domestic violence

5 Ways to Say #WeBelieveSurvivors on March 24th

On Thursday, March 24th, the verdict in the Jian Ghomeshi sexual assault trial will be delivered. Join us in solidarity to support the women who bravely testified, the countless others who could not go to the police, and people who have lived through sexual violence in our communities. Let’s create a space to remind ourselves and others impacted by sexual violence that we believe, support, and love survivors. No matter the outcome of the trial, we support people who have lived through violence.

Five Ways You Can Get Involved on the Day of the Verdict, Thursday March 24th 2016

  1. Post Selfies to Support Survivors online on March 24th with the hashtag #IBelieveSurvivors or #WeBelieveSurvivors. Show survivors that they are not alone. Show the world that we don’t believe victim blaming and myths about sexual violence; We believe survivors. Let’s flood social media with messages of love and support for survivors! For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/190664507966931/
  2. Host a Self Care Crafternoon in your Community to create spaces to collectively come together. We’ll bring the crafts, you bring the feelings. We have a FREE PDF of “We Believe You” A Colouring Book for Survivors & Supports for you to use. Email farrah.khan@ryerson.ca for your copy.  Take a peek at a example event: https://www.facebook.com/events/975489709199325/

In the Toronto Area!

  1. Join Rally & March at Old City Hall 60 Queen Street West, Toronto Thursday March 24 6-8 pm. Family friendly event, all genders welcome. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1190762947600867/
  2. Participate in Court Solidarity on March 24th with a Creative Intervention at 8:00 am – 10 am at Old Old City Hall 60 Queen Street West. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/361628807341066/
  3. Most importantly Check in with the Survivors in Your Life By:
    • Practicing community care: Check in with people around you, follow their lead and ask what they need. Maybe it’s a Beyonce dance party, dropping off a meal, or sending pictures of cute animals. Don’t make assumptions, LISTEN. They may not want to talk at all, you can hold space, not talk.
    • Being Prepared: People you care about might disclose that they are survivors of sexual violence be it harassment, assault or rape. Listen, believe, remind them it’s not their fault, that they have the right to be safe and they are not alone. You can share resources i.e. Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, Assaulted Women’s Helpline, Fem’aide, Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
    • Respecting Boundaries: People may not want to talk about the trial or about sexual violence at all. It’s not survivors job to educate you on sexual violence myths or share information about what we were subjected to. Do your own homework on the issues.

This is a Collaboration Between:

– Canadian Federation of Students, Ontario

– Centre for Women and Trans People, Ryerson University

– Centre for Women and Trans People, UTSC

– Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, Ryerson University

– Sacha Hamilton: Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area)

– Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Multicultural Women Against Rape.

– York University Federation of Students

Questions? Want to list your event or to endorse rally & march please email ovse@ryerson.ca

Every 6 days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Action is needed!

The CRCVC mourns the recent homicides of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk, and Nathalie Warmerdam, outside of Ottawa, in Wilno, Ontario. All are believed to be killed within hours of each other on September 22, 2015 by Basil Borutski, their former intimate partner, who has since been charged with first-degree murder. Since their tragic deaths, two other women have perished at the hands of former or current partners. In Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, the family of Colleen Sillito, who was shot by a former boyfriend in a murder-suicide October 2nd, wants the provincial government to call a public inquiry. In Manitoba, 20-year-old Selena Rose Keeper was found bleeding to death outside a Winnipeg home October 8th. She loved and feared the man who has been charged in her death, her sister says. It is also reported that she was denied a protection order.

The lives of these women mattered, yet in this country women continue to be killed —one every six days nationally—without much ado. Indigenous women continue to face indifference with the number of girls and women stolen now tallying more than one thousand. The topic of violence against women is not a major election issue, even though it should be.

Men like Borutski are not “unstoppable”; in fact, violence against women is preventable. Professor Irvin Waller reminds us that the World Health Assembly (which has oversight of the World Health Organization) adopted in 2014 a milestone resolution on the role of the health sector in preventing violence against women.

We know how to prevent these crimes. The Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee reviews deaths of persons that occur as a result of domestic violence, and makes recommendations to help prevent such deaths in similar circumstances. Waller states, “Among the priorities must be partnerships between police, health, social services and others that are essential to providing for prevention and the greatest protection to possible victims. Another priority is funding social investment in reducing the well established risk factors, including mental illness, as well as to support victims and their children, particularly in rural areas where the home and livelihood are interconnected.”

Borutski somehow evaded the criminal justice system for the crimes he committed against his partners. While he was convicted of causing property damage, assault police and failure to provide a breath sample, the serious charges for threatening his ex-wife with death and assaulting her, for assaulting Warmerdam, for criminal harassment of a fifth woman and for assault against a sixth, were all stayed by Crown prosecutors. Professor Elizabeth Sheehy says “the criminal justice system completely failed to appropriately condemn Borutski’s violence or to capture the acute endangerment his victims faced. And without convictions for serious crimes of violence he could not have been designated the “dangerous offender” that he appears to be.” She is right and this happens too commonly in domestic violence cases across Canada.

Too many women in Canada are living in fear of current or ex-partners. Many use monitoring devices and safety plans to try to keep safe. Escaping violence is not easy, especially where children are involved. Let’s call on our elected officials to take the epidemic of violence against women in Canada seriously. We can combat it together by mobilizing feminist organizations and addressing it as a major public health concern.

The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime offers support, research and education to survivors and stakeholders.

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