Excerpt from our 2014 newsletter. For this article and others, please click here: Winter 2014 Newsletter
From the NFL shocking incidents to the recent CBC Jian Ghomeshi scandal, to the ongoing epidemic of rape and sexual assault on campuses across North America, violence against women has been steadily in the headlines.
In a series of papers released by the World Health Organization & others, experts estimated that nearly 40% of women killed worldwide were slain by an intimate partner and that being assaulted by a partner was the most common kind of violence experienced by women. WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said in a statement, “Violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions”.
In BC, closer to home, 13 women were murdered and 5 women survived from attempted murder by their male partner or husband in the first nine months of 2014. This number is higher than it has been in several years.These events appear to have escalated a grassroots response to encourage people to take a stand against violence against women. We have seen changes in the dialogue, particularly in the social media realm, giving voice to survivors of violence in unprecedented ways as well as those who perhaps haven’t spoken out about violence against women before.
There have been clear statements from the NFL and correspondingly, from sports media—most notably a speech in September from CBS broadcaster, James Brown, who observed “Our silence is deafening, and deadly”
California became the first US state to adopt a “yes means yes” law, requiring students to obtain overt agreement to sex. Slogans of “No to rape culture” and “Break the silence” have been circulated widely.
Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order: SVU) began an organization as a result of her television character and the story lines they portray from week to week. JoyfulHeartFoundation.org has now launched a movement entitled No More.
Recently Rinelle Harper, a teen in Manitoba was raped, beaten and dumped in the icy waters of the Assiniboine River. Rescued by two city maintenance workers, she has become a focal point in rallying people to take a stand against rape and violence against women.
“This is the hour we have to call for change”. has declared Grand Chief David Harper, representing northern Manitoba First Nations. “The acts of violence have to stop”.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. 1 in 5 women are survivors in rape. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual victimization in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are sexually abused before the age of 18. These are not numbers. They are our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, co-workers, neighbours and friends. They are the person you confide in most at work, the guy you play basketball with, the people in your book club, your poker buddy, your teenager’s best friend – or your own teen. If we talk about these issues the silence and shame can end for good.
How Can I Help?
There are endless ways you can help spread the word about NO MORE.
Say it: Learn about these issues and talk openly about them. Break the silence. Speak out. Seek help when you see this problem or harassment of any kind in your family, your community, your workplace or school. Upload your photo to the NO MORE gallery and tell us why you say NO MORE.
Share it: Help raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault by sharing the NO MORE symbol and message. Share the PSAs. Download the Tools to Say NO MORE and share NO MORE with everyone you know. Facebook it. Tweet it. Instagram it. Pin it. Talk about it with those in your life.
Show it: Show NO MORE by wearing your NO MORE gear everyday, supporting partner groups working to end domestic violence and sexual assault and volunteering in your community.
NO MORE calls on all of us together to end the silence and speak out against the violence experienced by people of all genders, races and ethnicities, and age groups. Will you join us? Will you stand up and say NO MORE to violence and abuse in our world?