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.
The winter holiday season creates many expectations for a time of joy. Television commercials, stores, online advertisements, all show images of happy families and friends celebrating together and enjoying the holiday celebrations.
This isn’t the reality for everyone, though. For many people the holidays are filled with sadness, anxiety or pain. This time of year can bring up difficult memories or bring us into contact with people who we would rather not see. It is especially tough for those who have lost a loved one or are going through difficult times. For some, family get-togethers can bring up painful memories or fears. Others might feel very alone and isolated at this time of year, with limited resources and support.
The tragic death of Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji has left three children without a mother and a community of family members, friends and colleagues shocked and grieving. Her husband, Dr. Mohammed Shamji has been charged with her murder. Police have since revealed that her husband was previously charged with one count of assault and two counts of uttering death threats in May 2005.
Research shows that many people who are being abused by a family member do not go to police. Women and men in abusive relationships will often talk about the abuse with someone they trust before seeking help from outsiders such as police or going to a shelter. Salon professionals are in a really unique position when it comes to recognizing signs of violence in their clients as well as their co-workers. They often have good relationships with these people and are experienced at listening to others. Most people spend a large part of their appointments talking with their hairdresser or regular spa professional. Salon professionals often know personal and intimate details of many of their clients’ lives. The spa is also a good environment for a victim to seek help because she may feel very comfortable there and is normally alone, away from her partner.
Domestic violence is an issue that affects us all. You might have even experienced it firsthand yourself. Or maybe you have a friend, a family member, or a co-worker who has been in an abusive relationship. There’s also a chance that someone you know has experienced violence at the hand of a partner, but you’re not even aware of it. Domestic violence is far-reaching and the emotional, physical and financial implications can be long-lasting.
Acts of kindness can brighten up someone’s day, often more than we even realize. A simple act, even the smallest of ones, can mean so much to one person and let them know that someone else cares.