#OurTimeIsNow: Ending Gender-Based Violence
#OurTimeIsNow: Ending Gender-Based Violence
EVA BC Annual Training Forum | November 24 – 25, 2016 | Richmond, BC
by Tracy Porteous, RCC, Executive Director, EVA BC
This year’s Training Forum, “#OurTimeisNow:Ending Gender-Based Violence,” speaks to the strong sense we have here at EVA BC that we are experiencing a historic time, right now, when public awareness and shared knowledge about gender-based violence is creating a groundswell of awareness and support to intervene and end it. In so many ways the time is right to realize goals we have all been working towards for many decades.
Never before have we seen so much public discussion on gender-based violence. In the last few years alone: #BeenRapedNeverReported was a widespread social media response where, for the first time in our history we have witnessed the solidarity of millions of women across the globe coming forward with disclosures about being raped, and like the vast majority of us, who never reported. #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft were part of the viral social media response to the viral video of NFL Football player Ray Rice, seen punching his wife into unconsciousness in an elevator.
Thousands of stories have been written, blogged and videoed about Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby and again, there is a growing number of women coming forward to say they will be silent no longer: the rape chants, gang rapes, sexual assaults and sexualized hate climate being exposed by survivors and the media in universities across the country; the public class action suit by female RCMP officers disclosing sexual harassment and the investigation currently occurring into the same in the Canadian military; the call, after call, after public call, for a public inquiry into the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women.
I keep thinking about the hash tag: #OurTimeisNow and other hash tags like #IBelieveLucy and #IBelieveSurvivors.
This general awakening to the crisis of gender-based violence and a willingness to take action is showing upon significant fronts. Our federal government is now moving forward on a public inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women in our country. University and college campuses are discussing the realities of sexual violence on campuses and developing formal response policies and protocols. Change is happening at the policy level, such as Ontario’s new harassment and sexual violence legislation and the Canadian Football League’s Violence Against Women Policy. Men and boys from all walks of life are engaging as allies to end gender-based violence.
Change is happening at the policy level, such as Ontario’s new harassment and sexual violence legislation and the Canadian Football League’s Violence Against Women Policy. Men and boys from all walks of life are engaging as allies to end gender-based violence.
For over 40 years, women’s anti-violence advocates, including leaders who are Indigenous, living with dis-abilities, leaders who are new to Canada, women across many levels of government, and others have been raising awareness on these issues to whoever would listen. We have created important change and there is no doubt we have created the groundswell that has brought us here today. What faces us now is the greatest responsibility and opportunity we have ever seen – to capitalize on this momentum, this collective motivation and window for social and policy change. We are very proud to bring you this year’s roster of keynote speakers and presenters whose work is all part of this groundswell.
What faces us now is the greatest responsibility and opportunity we have ever seen – to capitalize on this momentum, this collective motivation and window for social and policy change.
Gitxan/Tsimshian community and organizational developer Si sityaawks (Jessica Wood) will lead off the first day of keynote speakers with her presentation “They’re Still Trying to Kill Us: What Queer People, Indigenous Women and Sex Workers Want You to Know,” in which she helps us consider what actions we can take to address the many intersections of violence and identity. Also on the first day, we will be hearing from the well-known American researcher and forensic consultant David Lisak, who will be sharing his knowledge about the predatory behaviour of serial sex offenders.
Gender-based violence counsellor, educator and artist Farrah Khan will deliver her keynote address, We Begin by Listening, on the forum’s second day, in which she asks us to listen to one another to forge movements built on equity, collaboration and power sharing when faced with experiences we did not ask for.
The second day will also feature a keynote plenary panel, “What’s New in Legal Resources – The Top Ten,” by our ATF 2016 partner, Legal Services Society of BC. LSS presenters will also be sharing their legal knowledge in four workshops that address the topics of family law, domestic violence and protection orders, child protection law, and immigration law.
We also want to acknowledge our partner for this year’s training forum, Legal Services Society of BC and share our thanks to the funders who make this important event possible – the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and the Department of Justice Canada. We hope many of you will find time in your very busy schedules to attend and connect with your colleagues from across the province as you engage with the knowledgeable presenters who will be on hand to deliver keynote addresses and workshops.
Remember #OurTimeisNow! We look forward to seeing you there!
Tracy Porteous, Executive Director, EVA BC
On behalf of the Training Forum Planning Committee
EVA BC’s Annual Training Forum 2016 takes place in Richmond November 24 – 25, 2016.
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