BY AMAN SINGH
NDP MLA for Richmond-Queensborough
THIS week marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international campaign that runs between November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and December 10, Human Rights Day.
During this campaign, Canadians also recognize December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women to commemorate the lives of 14 women who were killed in the Montreal Massacre at École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989. This was a misogynistic and devastating attack on women.
Did you know that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in three women experience gender-based violence in their lifetime? This is even more likely to occur amongst 2SLBGBTQ+ individuals, and Indigenous women.
The fight to end gender-based violence cannot fall to survivors alone. Men must be allies and part of the solution.
I, Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough, pledge to learn about services in my community.
Ending gender-based violence takes work from everyone across the province. I am grateful to those who have the courage to speak out against violence, for the frontline workers who support victims and help them heal, and for the work that community-based organizations do every day. We remain committed to supporting this work.
Our government is building 1,500 new transition homes for women leaving violence, including new housing options in remote and First Nations communities. We are providing funding to support over 400 victim services and violence against women programs across the province to ensure people who need help are getting the counselling and assistance they need. We are increasing cellular service and are building a new cell tower along Highway 16 to help keep women and girls safe along the Highway of Tears. We have also updated Employment Standards to provide five days of paid leave for people facing domestic or sexual violence to support people while they attend medical, counselling, or other appointments, look for a new home or school for their children, and rebuild their lives.
From rape and sexual assault to normalized sexual harassment and psychological abuse, gender-based violence and discrimination happens every day, in every place that we work, learn and live. Listening and believing survivors is one of the first steps we can take towards ending gender-based violence.
It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
– Assata Shakur