Prevention of Violence Against Women Week – Urban Women’s Anti-Violence Strategy
Sexual violence, it seems, is the one crime where we blame the victim and not the perpetrator. Frequently, women who are attacked are told, “You should have been more careful,” or, “You shouldn’t have put yourself in that situation.” Routinely women who have been raped are asked the questions “WHAT were you wearing?” “What did you drink?” “Who were you with?” “Why couldn’t you sense a potential attacker?” Research tells us that sexual violence perpetration is a heavily gendered crime. Approximately 98-99% of sexual violence – reported to police or anonymously reported in research – is perpetrated by men. And we don’t ask the question “Why do men rape?”
Recently, there have been several instances where public officials have publicly exposed victim blaming sentiments and have faced consequences:
In Toronto, Students and staff at Osgoode Hall Law School are demanding an apology and explanation from the Toronto Police Service after one of their officers suggested women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like a “slut”. http://www.torontolife.com/daily/informer/city-sindex/2011/02/17/toronto-cop-reportedly-tells-students-to-avoid-sexual-assault-by-not-dressing-%E2%80%9Clike-a-slut%E2%80%9D/
In Winnipeg, MB, protesters call for resignation after judge allows victim blaming sentiments inform his sentence of a convicted rapist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBxodavkiJc
In Manitoba, ‘No woman asks to be raped’: Victim slams judge’s decision
In Vancouver, BC, Women Respond to Comments by Reverend Ric Matthews of First United Church
In Surrey, BC, Green Party Candidate resigns over rape comment
In the US, an alliance of men have spoken out against victim blaming and issued a call to other men
Prevention of Violence Against Women Week – April 18 to 25, 2011.
This year, Urban Women’s Anti-Violence Strategy an alliance between Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Act II Safe Choice, Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), YWCA Munroe House and Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) have teamed up again to focus on sexual violence against girls & women.
To participate in the conversation and to take action check out BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services Facebook page BWSS Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter here Ending Violence
Urban Women’s Anti-Violence Strategy
Over the years, Vancouver and the province of British Columbia has experienced a death by a thousand cuts as services and the network of support for women survivors of violence are being dismantled. Further the pursuit of liberation and equality for women remains elusive as systemic policies and practices are regressing while violence against girls and women continues as an epidemic.
In 2009, in unprecedented form, the feminist women’s organizations in Vancouver joined together to raise awareness by holding events and mobilizing direct action during Prevention of Violence Against Women Week in April.
We’re working to provide critical and essential support services, while working to end violence against girls and women.
To join our work email us at email@example.com .
Urban Women’s Anti-Violence Strategy 2010 Death Does NOT Become Her
Urban Women’s Anti-Violence Strategy 2009 Critical and Essential Services
Submitted by Angela Marie MacDougall