Call violence what it is

Call violence what it is Nov. 25 marks the start of the annual 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign in the Yukon. Is anything different for this year's annual campaign than last year? We have seen many instances this year of violence against wo

Nov. 25 marks the start of the annual 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign in the Yukon. Is anything different for this year’s annual campaign than last year?

We have seen many instances this year of violence against women hitting the front page: Jian Ghomeshi, Rinelle Harper, sexual harassment on Parliament Hill, the growing call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

I’ve also seen commentators calling this a “tipping point” for violence against women advocates, but I’m still not convinced that is what we face. Unfortunately, gendered violence has been happening for generations. Women have been resisting this violence for just as long, both privately and publicly. Why hasn’t there been as much media coverage and public attention dedicated to these women and the injustice they have faced? Why haven’t those been a tipping point?

Perhaps more accurately, the events of this year provide an “opening.” They offer a new conversation piece around which we can mobilize. So many Canadians know who Jian is and – somewhat surprisingly to me – feel they have developed a personal relationship with him through his radio show. Now, we can all have the same conversation in different places, but together. Someone we know committed horrible violent acts against women. How do we respond?

Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre and our community partners are suggesting in this year’s campaign that as a first step, we can respond by examining the language we use to describe this violence. By calling violence what it is, we offer a more accurate picture of violence in the media, the public, and the legal system.

By using unilateral words like violence, assault, and rape instead of mutualizing words like domestic dispute and relationship problems, we can create a better response to women who have experienced violence and ultimately, a recognition that this injustice is unacceptable.

The campaign launches on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Yukon College. To learn more about language use specifically, we are inviting everyone to come to an information session Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Whitehorse Public Library. Keep an eye out for our posters.

Attend the many other events happening as part of the 12 Days campaign. Above all, join the conversation.

Hillary Aitken

Program Coordinator

Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. Politicians return for the spring sitting of the assembly March 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Analysis: What to expect in spring sitting of the legislature

They’re back on March 4, but election speculation is looming large

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read