YWCA Canada's new campaign calls for every day action to end violence
OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Calling for dramatic action to end violence against women and girls, YWCA Canada, the nation's oldest and largest women's multi-service association, launches its annual Rose Campaign on Parliament Hill, along with the vibrant new initiative, #NOTokay. Into a year flooded with news of violence against women and girls, YWCA Canada introduces #NOTokay, a social media campaign asking the public to call it out when images, messages and actions promote violence against women.
"Women and girls face brutal violence in our country," says YWCA Canada CEO Paulette Senior. "For months we've heard one horrific story after another on the news. Twenty-five years ago fourteen women were murdered in Montreal for being women. Now, on average, a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner every week. We hear women of courage speaking out every day about the violence in their lives. Every one of us needs to listen and act. When you think something is not okay, don't let it ride. Call it out. Say it's not okay."
As the website notokay.ca went live this morning, the distinctive #NOTokay logo spread across social media sites and Canadians looking for change took to Twitter and Facebook in support of the campaign.
"On June 1, Marlene Bird, a homeless woman in Prince Albert was senselessly and brutally attacked. She was sexually assaulted, lit on fire and left to die. Her injuries were so severe that both legs had to be amputated and she still faces a number of reconstructive surgeries on her face," says Donna Brooks, CEO of YWCA Prince Albert. "The Rose Campaign sends a message to all Canadians that violence against women in any form is not okay, and hasn't been eliminated."
"My friend Lindsay Wilson was a Nipissing University student. We were packing her car to leave Bracebridge for Toronto when her former boyfriend shot her at point blank range with a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun in the chest," says RCMP Cadet Brittany Eaton. "She died on the way to the hospital, but I'm here today to say violence against women is still very much present in our society. I support the Rose Campaign message. Violence is not okay."
"Children and youth in school today weren't born when the Montreal Massacre happened in 1989, but 25 years later they are surrounded by images, videos, music lyrics and social media that foster a culture of violence against women and girls," says Canadian Teachers' Federation President, Dianne Woloschuk. "Violence prevention begins with young people learning what's healthy and what's not. YWCA Canada's new campaign, #NOTokay, provides accessible tools. When kids feel something is upsetting or demeaning, they have a simple way to say it's not okay."
Rose Campaign supporters across Canada will Light the Night against violence on December 6 by having monuments, buildings and bridges from coast to coast – including Montreal's Olympic Stadium, the CN Tower, and BC Place in Vancouver – lit in red at sunset. For more locations, visit rosecampaign.ca.
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.
SOURCE: YWCA Canada
For further information: Contact Laura Tilley, Communications & Marketing Manager at 416.962.8881 x 233, for an interview with: Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada; Donna Brooks, CEO, YWCA Prince Albert; Brittany Eaton, RCMP Cadet; Contact Francine Filion, Director of Communications, Canadian Teachers' Federation, 613-688-4314, [email protected], for an interview with Dianne Woloschuk, President, Canadian Teachers' Federation.