Though the women’s movement has won victories in the workplace over the past 50 years, these gains have not necessarily translated into victories in the home and the personal lives of women.
Half of all women will be physically or sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime. Equality isn’t just about equal pay for equal work. Women also need to feel comfortable and secure in their own home.
That’s why SEIU Healthcare is observing National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6. This day commemorates the tragedy that occurred 25 years ago on December 6, 1989, when an armed man stormed into a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal and killed 14 female students and injured 10. He claimed he was “fighting feminism”. How can we ensure this terrible act of violence doesn’t happen again?
ALL SEIU HEALTCHARE MEMBERS: What can we as a society do to reduce violence against women? Please send us your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you would do. All responses should be no longer than a page and should be submitted by Monday, December 8, 2014. Your submission may be featured in SEIU’s member newsletter.
View the Canadian Labour Congress' poster
For more information, please call the MRC at 1-877-672-7348.
SEIU Healthcare Women's committee statement
December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence.
WHAT IS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
“Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
This violence can include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse:
- Emotional or verbal abuse:
- Financial abuse:
- Spiritual abuse
- Criminal harassment/stalking
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK SOMEONE IS BEING ABUSED?
- If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the emergency number in your community.
- Put her safety first. Never talk to anyone about abuse in front of their suspected abuser. Unless she specifically asks for it, never give her materials about domestic abuse or leave information through voice messages or emails that might be discovered by her abuser. However, abuse thrives in secrecy, so speak up if you can do so safely.
- If she wants to talk, you should listen. If she doesn’t, simply tell her she does not deserve to be harmed and that you are concerned for her safety. Ask her if there is anything you can do to help, but don’t offer to do anything that makes you uncomfortable or feels unsafe.
- If she decides to stay in the relationship, try not to judge her. Remember, leaving an abuser can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes, the most valuable thing you can offer a woman who is being abused is your respect.
- Learn about emergency services in your community, such as your local women’s shelter or sexual assault centre. Search on-line, or consult the front pages of your telephone directory.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY?
- Go to www.rosecampaign.ca and take action to change women’s lives by sending an email your MP
- Wear the Rose button
- Speak up about violence in your community
- Encourage people who commit violence to get help
- Teach girls to protect and empower themselves
- Raise children who can resolve conflict without violence
- Make sure your home, workplace and community are safe for women and girls
- Promote women's economic and political equality
- Support organizations that work to end violence against women
- Donate your time and support the cause
- Oder Rose buttons for resale to support your local women’s shelter and support services centre
Women have come a long way and with determination and strength we can go ever further. SEIU Women 4 Women