Invest in Women's Safety - Not Guns and Prisons, says YWCA Canada's Rose Campaign

Largest shelter provider calls for action on Throne Speech promise "to address violence against women and girls"

OTTAWA, Nov. 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Calling on the federal government to act on its June 2011 Throne Speech promise to "address the problem of violence against women and girls", YWCA Canada, the country's single largest provider of shelter services for women, launched its annual Rose Campaign to end violence against women and girls today.

"The time for action is now," says YWCA CEO Paulette Senior. "Abuse is the leading cause of women's homelessness. We have 100,000 women and children leaving their homes each year for emergency women's shelters in our country. A woman without a home is a woman in peril. Every woman needs a roof over head and a door to lock behind her. That's common sense and common decency. We're looking for action on this promise today, and that action has to include homes for women."

Women across political parties united to launch the annual Rose Campaign, which was supported by the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and women advocates with lived experience of violence.

"Too many women and children are victimized, criminalized and imprisoned," says Kim Pate, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. "Jails are not the shelters battered women and abused children need. Canadians are telling us that they would rather see their hard-earned tax dollars spent on public housing, child care, pensions, health care, mental health services, public education, victims and other social services."

The official launch of the Rose Campaign rounded out a series of activities in support of ending violence against women, including, "Roses and Bread: A Breakfast on the Hill Discussing Women, Violence and Poverty" co-hosted with Campaign 2000.  Earlier in the week, Lyda Fuller, Executive Director of YWCA Yellowknife and Ann Decter of YWCA Canada appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee reviewing Bill C-19, which would dismantle the long-gun registry and destroy over 7 million ownership records.

"Women have told us that the guns used here in the North predominantly for hunting - that is, long guns - are also used to intimidate, subdue and control them," Fuller says. "We hear this over and over again, in small communities without RCMP and in larger communities with RCMP. Women do not want these guns to be unregistered."  YWCA Canada stressed to the Standing Committee that ending the long-gun registry is not in the best interests of women and children who live at risk of domestic violence.

On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, YWCA Canada urged the federal government to invest in women's safety - not guns and prisons.

For further information on YWCA Canada, the Rose Campaign or to set up an interview with:

  • Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada
  • Kim Pate, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
  • Ghislaine Sathoud, violence survivor and advocate
  • Lyda Fuller, Executive Director, YWCA Yellowknife

About YWCA Canada:
YWCA Canada is the country's oldest and largest women's multi-service organization. With 34 Member Associations operating in more than 400 districts and communities across the country, our Turning Point Programs for Women™ - which address personal safety, economic security and well-being - reach out to 1 million women, girls and their families in nine provinces and one territory. YWCA is the largest national provider of shelter to women, serving 25,000 women, children and teen girls including 6,000 fleeing domestic violence each year.  We are the largest provider of literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs in the country, and the second largest provider of childcare services. YWCA Canada is a member association of the World YWCA which unites 25 million women and girls worldwide and spans 125 countries. For more information about YWCA Canada and our Member Associations, visit www.ywcacanada.ca or find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ywcacanada.

SOURCE YWCA Canada

For further information:

Contact Laura Tilley, Communications & Marketing Manager at 416.962.8881 x 233.

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