Written By: Lynnaea Le Drew, HSWC Support Worker
Violence against women is an international human rights violation. The most common form of violence experienced by women globally is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner. On average, one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime.
In Canada, half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. On any given day, more than 3,300 Canadian women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international call for the elimination of violence against women. Violence against women is one of the most pressing human rights violations of our time. To stress that ending violence against women is a human rights issue, the campaign starts on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and ends on International Human Rights Day (December 10).
Join in with 16 Days of Activism
Take action. Join the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign from November 25 – December 10. Here are some ways you can participate:
Get informed. Educate yourself about the issue of violence against women. Learn to recognize the warning signs of abuse and how you can help if you suspect that someone is being abused.
Participate in our #16 Days of Activism social media campaign. Like our Facebook page and share our posts during the campaign to raise awareness about violence against women.
Teach children and youth about safe and healthy relationships. Take preventative action. Talk to your child/youth about teen dating violence and qualities of a healthy relationship. Encourage your child/youth to come to you if issues arise in their relationships.
Call on policymakers to make ending violence against women a priority. Pressure all levels of government to develop and implement strategies to address violence against women.
On December 6, the National Day of Mourning and the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, honour the lives of women killed by violence. Participate in a Candlelight Vigil or attend the Shoe Memorial held on the Robson Street stairs at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 8am-3pm.
On December 10, International Women Human Rights Defender Day, join human rights supporters around the world. Pledge to Write for Rights and register online to receive a Write for Rights kit.
Support work to end violence against women in your community. There are many ways you can make an impact and support women and children in need, including financial and in-kind donations, sponsorship, volunteering, becoming a member, or joining the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society team.
Over 3,800 women access the Squamish and Whistler Women’s Centre’s each year. Last year, 66 women and 20 children stayed at our Transition House. More than 250 women called our crisis line. Your support helps women and their children transition into safe housing and healthier environments. Give the gift of hope and make a one-time or monthly donation today.
 Fact Sheet, Unite to End Violence Against Women, 2008. www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/pdf/VAW.pdf
The Violence Against Women Survey, Statistics Canada, 1993. http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/document/3896_D1_T2_V1-eng.pdf
 “Shelters for Abuse Women in Canada, 2010,” Juristat, Marta Burczycka and Adam Cotter, Statistics Canada, 2011. www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11495-eng.htm.