Anti violence campaign kicks off

About 70 people came out for the launch of the 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign at Yukon College on Tuesday. The focus of this year's campaign is "call it what it is.

About 70 people came out for the launch of the 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign at Yukon College on Tuesday.

The focus of this year’s campaign is “call it what it is.” That means using accurate language when describing violence against women.

The words that we typically use in everyday life and also in the justice system to talk about violence against women serves to implicate women in the violence done against them, explained Renee-Claude Carrier with Kaushee’s Place at the launch event.

“When a man attacks a woman, we call it ‘domestic dispute,’ or ‘argument,’ or ‘conflict,’ or ‘fighting,’ or ‘an abusive relationship,’” said Carrier.

“If I go into a bank and try to rob it, is it called a financial transaction? Why is it that when a person is assaulted with the genitals of another it is called sex?”

Calling a rape sex makes it sound like an act that the victim participated in, rather than a one-way act of violence, said Carrier.

It’s the same thing when we call someone forcing their lips on someone’s face, or forcing their tongue into someone’s mouth, kissing.

And yet these words get used to describe non-consensual acts all the time, both in and out of the justice system, said Carrier.

“The language we use has an enormous impact on the police’s responses, on the court systems, and the capacity of victims to heal from the violence they experience. If we’re not describing it with the right words, how do the police know that what’s going on is deliberate? How do the courts know that it’s not just some Don Juan gone wrong?”

Tosh Southwick, director of First Nation initiatives for Yukon College, also spoke at the event.

First Nation women are much more likely to suffer violence or be murdered, and enough is enough, she said.

“How is it OK that my daughter, my nieces, my aunties and my grandmas are four times more likely to be murdered, for no other reason than the fact that they are aboriginal?

“It’s important that we say, enough is enough. It’s important that we stand up at every opportunity that we have to say, it is not OK for violence to happen against women, and it’s not OK that First Nation and indigenous women are over-represented in these cases.

“It’s not enough that I can teach my daughter to defend herself in order to be safe, which I’ll have to do, because she is four times more likely to be murdered. But I need our community, I need our territory, I need our country to tell her that she matters, to tell her that she’s important.

“You can teach our future generations, both our boys and our daughters, that each person is important, regardless of their background or their race, and that we are all equal, and we all matter. You can teach our boys to respect women. We can teach our young women that they deserve to be respected.”

The 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign continues with events this week and next.

The campaign will wrap up with a ceremony for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Friday Dec. 5 at noon at the Elijah Smith Building.

Dec. 6 is the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, where Marc Lepine shot and killed 14 women and injured 14 more before killing himself.

For more information about campaign events, visit the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre website.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

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

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read