TORONTO/NEW YORK, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The CAW will be presenting its
pioneering Women's Advocate program that helps women suffering from
domestic violence seek help, while at work, at an event part of the
United Nations 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women now underway in New
CAW Women's Director Julie White will be speaking as part of a panel
this afternoon about the impact of domestic violence in the workplace,
an event organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO), in
tandem with the UN session.
White was invited to present on behalf of the union by the ILO,
recognizing the CAW's innovative at-work program. White is
participating in CSW57 along with other CAW representatives as part of
an official Canadian trade union delegation, organized by the Canadian
"Violence remains a significant barrier to women's equality and we know
it has devastating consequences in the lives of women, children,
families and Canadian society as a whole," said CAW Women's Director
"Workplaces though present a unique opportunity for women to get
information on how to access domestic violence services in privacy,
without the immediate fear of retaliation from their abusive partner.
Where public policy makers and governments have ignored this enduring
travesty, we see it as our role as a union to help end violence against
women and children. The women's advocate is one solution as part of a
larger web of support."
The Women's Advocate program is an employer-paid initiative, which was
first negotiated in 1993 at the major auto companies. It has since
grown to 260 trained women's advocates across the country.
The Women's Advocate Program is a referral program with specially
trained workplace representatives who assist women with concerns of
workplace harassment, intimate partner violence or abuse. Advocates are
not counsellors but rather assist women with workplace supports and
community resources needed to leave a violent relationship.
"We believe there's a role for the women's advocate in every workplace
in the country - women of all ages, incomes, education-levels,
orientations and ethnic backgrounds suffer from violence and abuse,"
said White. "It is not a problem limited to any one group. We're
working every day to expand the program - we know the need is there."
On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her partner.
And on any given day, there are more than 3,000 women (along with their
2,500 children) are living in emergency shelters, to flee domestic
violence, according to recent Statistics Canada data.
The Women's Advocate program, although geared towards women, is also
accessible for men, and has become a frequent resource for those
struggling with mental health issues or may have concerns about the
domestic violence in the lives of loved ones.
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
CAW Women's Director Julie White (cell) 519-860-7015
CAW Communications Director Shannon Devine (cell) 416-302-1699