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November/December - Anti-Violence
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November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
November 25th marks the start of two anti-violence campaigns:
Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25th to December 10th) links violence against women and human rights, emphasizing that all forms of violence, whether perpetrated in the public or private sphere, are a violation of human rights. November 25 is International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10 is International Human Rights Day. The 16-day period also includes December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. More information is available from www.cwgl.rutgers.edu.
The White Ribbon Campaign (November 25th to December 6th) provides an opportunity for boys and men to work together to end violence against women. Education and Action kits are available from the White Ribbon Campaign.
December 6th: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
CLC Poster #1 for December 6 (1.29 Mb)CLC Poster #2 for December 6 (1.29 Mb)
Geneviève Bergeron 21
Hélène Colgan 23
Nathalie Croteau 23
Barbara Daigneault 22
Anne-Marie Edward 21
Maud Haviernick 29
Barbara Maria Klucznik 31
Maryse Laganière 25
Maryse Leclair 23
Anne-Marie Lemay 27
Sonia Pelletier 23
Michèle Richard 21
Annie St-Arneault 23
Annie Turcotte 21
Twenty years ago, on Dec. 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in what has become known as the Montreal Massacre. Their tragic deaths remind us of the frightening reality that dozens of women die violently every year in this country. This day has been declared a national day of mourning and action.
We realize that the murder of these women was not an isolated act. Along with violence against women in homes, workplaces, and the street, this tragedy is yet another manifestation of the devaluing and blaming of women which is embedded in our society and internalized in individuals.
Violence is a chosen response. Society must become more serious about ending violence against women and children. Our institutions must work and achieve equality including equal power between men and women.
Rose Buttons campaignEvery year, the YWCA of Canada sells rose buttons to mark December 6. These buttons can be distributed, or sold to raise funds for community organizations supporting women in violent situations. For more information on this campaign, see the YWCA website.
ETFO's Anti-Violence Programs and Resources
Anti-Violence: Getting Past the Headlines
Violence against women and children makes the news almost every day. This opens up countless opportunities to get past the headlines and help your students examine the:
Roots of Equality
Between 2006 and 2008, ETFO members developed a collection of resources called Roots of Equality. Partially funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate, the resources are designed to help educators foster students’ healthy, equal relationships and raise awareness of violence against women.
women abuse affects our children
This program, new in 2007-2008, is funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate. Two-day regional workshops prepare members to facilitate local workshops, focused on the effects of violence against women on children. Contact Carol Zavitz, email@example.com, for more information about available, or go to www.curriculum.org/womanabuse for downloadable resources.
Breaking the Silence Examining Violence Against Women is a program designed to educate women ETFO members about domestic violence and how to help women in violent situations. ETFO trains women members interested in facilitating workshops on violence against women, and makes the workshops available at the local level, in an after-school, half-day or all-day (weekday or weekend) format.
Take a Closer Look:A practical guide to exploring issues of media violence in the intermediate classroom is a resource ETFO produced in 2001. The writers of this guide are available to conduct workshops at the local level.
Contact your Status of Women Chairperson at your local office for more information on these programs, or to suggest bringing them to your local.
ResourcesThe best source for general information about violence against women is Springtide Resources, a Toronto-based organization whose mission is to inform and educate the community about the issue of wife assault/woman abuse in order to decrease the incidence of physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual violence against women and the effect that woman abuse has on children. Materials are available from their website, or you can order their publications online, by phone, or mail.
Springtide ResourcesSuite 220, 215 Spadina AvenueToronto, ON, Canada M5T 2C7Phone: (416) 968-3422TTY: (416) 968-7335Fax: (416) 968-2026Website: www.springtideresources.org
Useful WebsitesMETRAC:Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (Toronto) www.metrac.org
Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children(University of Western Ontario) www.uwo.ca/violence/
Ontario Women’s Directoratehttp://www.ontariowomensdirectorate.gov.on.ca/
National Clearing House on Family Violencehttp://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/index.html
FREDACentre for Research on Violence Against Women and Childrenwww.harbour.sfu.ca/freda
Violence is learned behaviour, and all forms of violence are related.
As long as racial taunts and sexist comments continue to exist in our classrooms, violence in schools will continue. As long as the media (including movies, music, video games, and advertisements) portray a litany of violent acts, violence will continue. As long as children grow up in abusive homes and witness abuse, violence will continue.
Solutions to ending violence must be collaborative in nature and holistic in scope. That means classroom teachers, schools, local boards, and the community itself must work together to change a lifetime of learning violence.
Local Status of Women Committees can do their part by forming partnerships with community groups, increasing awareness within the school community, and implementing anti-violence initiatives. Here are some suggestions:
What suggestions do you have? Let us know by emailing Carol Zavitz.
Supporting Women's Shelters
Women in Crisis is an ETFO Women’s Program that provides donations to existing women’s crisis centres and start-up grants to newly established women’s crisis centres. Locals are encouraged to make a matching donation in money or in-kind services. Contact your local Status of Women Chairperson or president. You can locate women’s shelters at www.shelternet.ca [removed link on April 30, 2012].
Here are some ideas for providing financial assistance and in-kind services for shelters in your area:
Board/Shelter ProtocolChildren from shelters attend the schools in their neighbourhoods. This offers another opportunity to provide non-monetary support to women’s shelters. Find out what the arrangement is between the district school board and the women’s shelter. If no protocol exists, work with the district school board and the shelter to develop one.
How have you helped women's shelters in your area? Let us know by emailing Carol Zavitz.
Suggestions for Activities in the Classroom
Adapted from materials developed by the December 6th Coalition in Waterloo.
Jr. and Sr. Kindergarten:Discuss their right to safety both at home and at school. Make a class booklet titled “At home and at play...You should feel safe every day."
Grades 1-3:Have children make a picture depicting a time when they have felt safe from danger. Compare it with a picture of feeling unsafe. Discuss the differences.
Grades 4-6:Discussion topics could include the right to a safe environment, how to resolve disputes without violence or disrespect and where to go for help if an uncomfortable or unsafe situation presents itself.
Grades 7-8: Have students write lyrics or poems to commemorate the significance of December 6th and the impact of violence. Discussion topics could include the right to a safe environment, the right to be treated equally, and with respect and zero tolerance for violence in school.
Do you have suggestions for other classroom activities? Let us know by emailing Carol Zavitz