National Omnibus for the Canadian Women's Foundation shows women in
Canada still endure violence at alarming rate
TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - A new study commissioned by the Canadian
Women's Foundation has found that, over the course of their lives, 67
percent of Canadians have known a woman who has been physically or
sexually abused, with Alberta having the highest reported incidence at
74 per cent. Violence against women is identified by the UN as a human
rights violation and is a major factor in women's health and
well-being. December 10 marks the end of the 16 Days of Action to End
Violence Against Women and an international and local campaign focused
on the critical and urgent need to end gender-based violence.
The Canadian Women's Foundation has helped women move out of violence
for more than 20 years by funding emergency shelters, programs that
help women and their children rebuild their lives after abuse and
prevention programs that teach girls and boys to create healthy
relationships and stop the violence - for good. The foundation
commissioned the national survey to determine how many Canadians, not
just those benefiting from the programs it funds, have been indirectly
affected by knowing a woman who has experienced abuse.
"The fact that two thirds of Canadians have known a woman who has been
abused underscores that violence against women is still a serious issue
in Canada and cannot be kept behind closed doors," said Beverley
Wybrow, President and CEO at the Canadian Women's Foundation.
"Unfortunately, many women will experience abuse they never speak
about. It is critical that we are talking about, funding and taking
action to build a Canada that is safer for our mothers, sisters,
daughters and friends."
The survey also shows that Canadian women are more likely to have known
another female who has experienced physical or sexual abuse (74%) than
men (59%). Here are some tips to follow if you know or think you know
a woman experiencing abuse:
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the emergency number in
Put her safety first. Never talk to anyone about abuse in front of their
suspected abuser. Unless she specifically asks for it, never give her
materials about domestic abuse or leave information through voice
messages or emails that might be discovered by her abuser. However,
abuse thrives in secrecy, so speak up if you can do so safely.
If she wants to talk, listen. If she doesn't, simply tell her she does
not deserve to be harmed and that you are concerned for her safety. Ask
her if there is anything you can do to help, but don't offer to do
anything that makes you uncomfortable or feels unsafe.
If she decides to stay in the relationship, try not to judge her. She
has to make her own decisions. Remember, leaving an abuser can be
extremely dangerous. Sometimes, the most valuable thing you can offer a
woman who is being abused is your willingness to listen.
Learn about emergency services in your community, such as your local
crisis line, women's shelter or sexual assault centre. Search on-line,
or consult the front pages of your telephone directory.
Methodology: Online survey among 1,504 randomly selected Canadian adults
who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, conducted on November 22 and
November 23, 2012. The margin of error—which measures sampling
variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been
statistically weighted according to the most current education, age,
gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the
entire adult population of Canada.
About Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's public foundation for women
and girls. We empower women and girls in Canada to move out of
violence, out of poverty and into confidence. Since 1991, we've raised
money and invested in over 1,200 community programs across Canada, and
are now one of the ten largest women's foundations in the world. We
take a positive approach to address root causes of the most critical
issues facing women and girls. We study and share the best ways to
create long-term change and bring community organizations together for
training and to learn from each other. We carefully select and fund the
programs with the strongest outcomes and regularly evaluate their work.
We have a special focus on building a community of women helping other
women. Helping women creates safer families and communities, and a more
prosperous society for all of us. We invest in the power of women and
the dreams of girls. For more information please visit www.canadianwomen.org
Editors Note: When referring to the Canadian Women's Foundation, please
use the full name. Please do not abbreviate or use acronyms.
SOURCE: Canadian Women's Foundation
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