On a Friday in April 2005, I woke up at 5AM to put final edits on a grade 12 social studies essay that was due that day. I remember the teacher saying to the class that she would not accept any late submissions under any circumstances. While working away on the family computer, my long-time physically abusive father started a fight with my older sister by joking that she should throw her 11 month old baby off the balcony. He stood towering over her and her son. I tried to protect her by separating them from each other. We rushed to the bedroom to get dressed and ready, leaving the house before the tension escalated.
As March 21st comes…like it does every year, I wonder what people are doing on that particular day.This is the day when No Ruz, New Year is celebrated across various cultures; when spring makes an official entrance on calendars and our eyes search for its first signs; and when many organizations acknowledge and celebrate the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination.As March 21st comes…like it does every year, I wonder what people are doing on that particular day.
This is the day when No Ruz, New Year is celebrated across various cultures; when spring makes an official entrance on calendars and our eyes search for its first signs; and when many organizations acknowledge and celebrate the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The Canadian Conference on Promoting Healthy Relationships for Youth was a tremendous success, bringing in over 432 participants from across North America. These participants came from a wide range of sectors, including educators, mental health professionals, police, justice and victim services, researchers and professors, social workers and government. The Centre for Research and Education and the Centre for School Mental Health worked collaboratively to ensure the success of the Conference, and in doing so highlighted the intersections between mental health and violence and bullying.
We’ve all heard of the bystander effect. It’s when people don’t offer any help to a victim who is in distress, when other individuals are around. It happens all the time. You’ve possibly even been a part of this effect and not even known it.
Why does it happen? Sometimes, we think someone else is going to help, or other times, we don’t realize the gravity of the situation. People also don’t like to be intrusive - they’re afraid they’re over-stepping the line. Lastly, people often just aren’t sure how to respond.
Children spend such a large chunk of their time in school. Because of this, teachers are often in some of the best positions to be able to recognize when something is wrong. Signs of domestic abuse occurring at home can be more obvious to educators than they might first think, and training on how to recognize domestic violence should be a priority.
Students of all ages often deal with many challenges outside of school and these can all have a huge impact on their ability to learn as well as their behaviour.
This International Women’s Day, there are so many things you can do to support women, both in your own life as well as around the world. The day is all about celebrating women worldwide for their political, economic and social achievements, as well as constantly working toward bettering the lives of women, everywhere. Find out 10 simple things you can do to celebrate this important day of women.
Why is it important to engage men in the conversation to end violence against women?
As a student at Changing Ways, I have learned just how vital it is to support men in changing the way they think about and use their power. Unfortunately, there still exists an alarmingly high rate of domestic violence in society, and these offences are committed disproportionately by men. Canadian estimates suggest that roughly 30% of women have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Some men use violence as a means of controlling their partner’s thoughts, feelings and actions, when other tactics have not been effective.
Healthy relationships involve respectful and constant communication and safe and healthy boundaries. Nothing hurts more than having our trust violated by someone we love.
Consent is crucial in every relationship. The belief that rape is normally committed by strangers is actually far from the truth. The reality is that rape is often committed by someone the victim knows. Many times, the victim is friends with or already in an intimate relationship with the rapist. This is why communicating and getting consent at every step of the way is so important. It’s imperative that both partners feel comfortable, always.
On Saturday January 21 2017, the day after the USA inaugurated Donald Trump as their 45th president, women and their allies around the world rallied and marched in solidarity to oppose what they believe Donald Trump and his administration represent. Millions and millions of women (the last estimate I heard was four million) came together to fight oppression, misogyny, racism, homophobia and hate. But more importantly, they came together to stand for what they believe in; justice, love, the environment, safety and a bright future for our children.
What do women’s shelters really need – money or stuff?
That’s a question we often find ourselves answering, whether from friends, family members, or others we meet in the community. And the answer is: both. Women’s shelters really need money AND stuff. The money helps us keep the shelter doors open around the clock to provide program services free of charge. Last year alone, Women’s Community House (London, Ontario) provided services to 5,947 individuals through shelter, outreach, children’s group programs, family court support, transitional housing, helpline, walk in support and more.