This article is part of a Cause Marketing Campaign completed for Seneca College.
Cause: Fighting Violence Against Women
Until this day, half of all Canadian women have experienced some kind of physical or sexual violence and every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her partner. Most of this violence is gender-specific and it keeps echoing on thousands of girls’ futures.
Violence against women is still a serious and systemic problem in Canada. And although all Canadians can be victims of the same type of violence, most violent offences affect women more highly than men. Most of this violence is gender-based, characterized by the violence committed against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or even perceived gender as female.
The previous existence of a relationship between female victims of violent crimes and the accused is an important fact to consider regarding how important bringing awareness to the cause is.
Regarding all violent crimes, 85% of those who are committed against women come from someone they know. Other important recent statistics must be considered:
- Women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men
- Only 12% of the police-reported sexual assault result in some kind of punishment to the offenders
- Young women between the ages of 15 and 25 years in Canada are at particularly high risk of experiencing sexual violence and nearly half (47%) of those crimes were committed against women that age
- Women living in the territories are eight times more victimized than those living in the provinces, whether women living in the territories have a risk of violent victimization about 45% higher than men’s, especially in the large population centers.
The big gap between male and female violence victims leds to show how important and relevant a campaign to fight violence against women in Canada still is.
Response to Date
Canada not only condemns all forms of violence against women but also has been actively present in the United Nations and other international forums supporting resolutions that fight to eliminate such violence. In the UN, Canada has been contributing to establish a stronger Declaration on the Elimination of Violence and All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Throughout the country, the government has been helping to support women’s rights organizations and women human rights defenders.
In 2017, the Government of Canada launched the strategy ‘It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence’, coordinating programs that already existed and helping to create new ones, while serving as a foundation for further action regarding gender-based violence.
The idea behind this new strategy was to not only prevent such violence, but also support victims and their families, and promote responsive legal and justice systems.
With a $100.9 million budget to be spent over the next five years, this conglomerate of movements ran throughout the support and investments from essential institutions such as:
- Status of Women Canada
- the Public Health Agency of Canada
- Public Safety Canada
- the Department of National Defence
- the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In 2018, Canada’s government also supported the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, running from November 25 (on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day). On those 16 days of activism, a number of forums, debates and events were held, all under the theme #MYActionsMatter, questioning and debating what people would and should do to stop and prevent violence against women.
Founded in 1986 as the first Canadian organization regarding gender equality, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is still due to this day one of the most important responses to this problem, becoming one of the largest women’s foundations in the world.