16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence – Defence Team Champions Message
The Government of Canada and the Defence Team will continue to help work towards the goal of eliminating global gender based violence, in part by marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from November 25 to December 10. Part of this year’s focus will be on issues related to gender-based violence exacerbated by COVID-19, as well as raising awareness of this important topic in Canada and around the world.
The beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Also taking place during the course of the 16 Days, on December 6, is The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day commemorates the 14 young women from l'École Polytechnique de Montréal whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the tragedy. The last of the 16 days will be December 10: International Human Rights Day.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence provides Defence Team members with an opportunity to unite with everyone in Canada and beyond our borders to reflect in this important issue. It gives us all a chance to think about what each of us can do in our workplaces, communities and in our own lives to eliminate the disproportionate violence faced by women, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals.
We encourage all Defence Team members to become a campaign ally, which you can do by:
- Listening: be open to learning from the experiences of others
- Believing: support survivors and those affected by violence
- Speaking out: add your voice to call out violence
- Intervening: find a safe way to help when you see acts of gender-based violence
- Acting: give your time to organizations working to end violence
The themes discussed during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence align with a number of current Defence initiatives dedicated to creating safer, more respectful workplaces and communities:
- The Chief of the Defence Staff, Deputy Minister, and CAF senior leaders continue to lead the full implementation of Operation HONOUR to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour.
- The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre has launched the Sexual Assault Centre Contribution Program to ensure that individuals affected by sexual misconduct in the vicinity of CAF communities have access to a wider range of support services to cope with the effects of sexual misconduct.
- Military Family Services is also implementing family crisis teams at wings and bases across Canada, in partnership with Military Family Resource Centres, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. This initiative is part of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
- The Employee Assistance Program (Civilian Employees):
- EAP Peer Advisors (PAs) - DND civilian employees provide confidential active-listening skills and resources to employees in need. Call HR Connect at 1-833-747-6363 to be connected with a readily available colleague from 0800-1600 hours Mon to Friday. You will be contacted within 24 hours.
Use the hashtag #16Days to join in the conversation on our social media channels and share what you are doing to be part of the solution to end gender-based violence. You can also visit Women and Gender Equality Canada’s web site to learn more.
Rear Admiral Rebecca Patterson
Champion for Women
Commander MGen Aitchison
Co-Champion for Gender and Diversity for Operations
You can also participate by:
- Using WAGE’s 16 Days filter on your social media stories or adding our 16 Days frame to your social media profiles throughout the campaign; and
- ‘Wearing’ a virtual white ribbon, on December 6, 2020, to honour the victims of the Polytechnique Montréal tragedy, by adding a white ribbon frame to your social media profiles and a white ribbon filter to your social media stories.
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