Time for Real Change on Violence Against Women and Girls

YWCA Canada welcomes sector engagement in the development of a National Action Plan

OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Welcoming the opportunity to collaborate with the federal government on a National Action Plan that brings real change on violence against women and girls, YWCA Canada launches its annual Rose Campaign today on Parliament Hill, joined by the new Minister for Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, Canada's national shelter network and DAWN-RAFH Canada. The nation's oldest and largest women's multi-service association, YWCA Canada is also releasing the Project Shift report assessing young women's online safety needs.

"It's long past time for real change on violence against women and girls," says Paulette Senior, YWCA Canada CEO. "After years of the violence services sector calling for a national plan, we're excited to see a door open in Ottawa. Minister Hajdu, we want you to know that we are here to work with you. Collectively, we have decades of experience, we know the issues and the women we serve, and we are ready when you are. The entire sector is waiting to exhale."

Prime Minister Trudeau's mandate letter to the Minister for Status of Women instructed her to work "…with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies."

"The only possible response to the women who face violence in Canada today is a going to be a national strategy that involves all of us," says Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director, DAWN-RAFH Canada. "We need to move beyond toolkits and project funding to a strategy that builds on the social determinants of health and women's equality and is linked to the work that organizations like all of ours are already doing."

"Given that the level of violence women and girls experience in Canada has changed little over the past two decades and current responses have failed to significantly lower the levels of violence, we, along with our partners, were compelled to develop a Blueprint for Canada's National Action Plan on Violence Against Women," says Lise Martin, Executive Director of the Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transition Houses. "The development and implementation of a National Action Plan is key to clearly identifying and addressing the root causes of violence against women across Canada." 

YWCA Canada is also releasing Project Shift: Creating a safer digital world for young women assessing young women's online safety needs. The report follows a year of knowledge gathering with girls, boys and young women, program partners and academic experts. Project Shift establishes the need for a gender lens to understand violence online and makes recommendations for a range of public and private actors, from educational institutions to parents and ICTs to counselors and police. Project Shift is currently sharing these results at a series of Knowledge Exchange Forums across the country. 

About YWCA Canada:
YWCA Canada is the country's oldest and largest women's multi-service organization. Our 32 Member Associations serve women and girls in nine provinces and two territories. YWCA Canada is the nation's single largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence, the second largest provider of childcare services, and an active member of the World YWCA. For more information visitwww.ywcacanada.ca, find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or at www.facebook.com/ywcacanada.  


For further information: For interviews and more information contact Laura Tilley, Communications & Marketing Manager at 416.962.8881 x 233.


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