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November/December - Anti-Violence

From November 25 to December 10, ETFO is participating in the 16 Days of Action, a global campaign to raise awareness about gender-based violence. By sharing messages and images posted on @ETFOeducators social media accounts (Twitter | Facebook) you can add your voice to this important conversation. Speak out, reflect and act to end violence against women and girls. As teachers, parents, and community members our actions matter – let’s work together to change behaviours and attitudes to end violence.

November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25th marks the start of two anti-violence campaigns:

Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25 to December 10) 

From November 25 to December 10, ETFO is participating in the 16 Days of Action, a global campaign to raise awareness about gender-based violence. By sharing messages and images posted on @ETFOeducators social media accounts (a few are shown below) you can add your voice to this important conversation. Speak out, reflect and act to end violence against women and girls.

Click thumbnails to access full-size shareables:

Every 6 days a woman in Canada is killed. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter 1/2 of all women have experienced violence since age 16. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter

60% of womenwith disability experience some form of violence. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter Women are the majority of minimum wage workers and 1/3 earn less than $15/hour. Stop economic violence against women.

6000+ women and children are in shelters every night. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter Indigenous women are killed 6x more than non-Indigenous women. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter

Between age nine and 13, girls become less confident. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter Women 18-24 are most likely to experience online harassment. Eliminate violence against women. #MyActionsMatter

This campaign links violence against women and human rights, emphasizing that all forms of violence, whether perpetrated in the public or private sphere, are a violation of human rights. November 25 is International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10 is International Human Rights Day. The 16-day period also includes December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. More information is available from www.cwgl.rutgers.edu.

The White Ribbon Campaign (November 25 to December 6) 

This campaign provides an opportunity for boys and men to work together to end violence against women. Education and Action kits are available from the White Ribbon Campaign.

December 6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

 On Dec. 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in what has become known as the Montreal Massacre. Their tragic deaths remind us of the frightening reality that dozens of women die violently every year in this country. This day has been declared a national day of mourning and action.

   Remember. Reflect. Act to end violence. National Day of Remembrance and Action Agaisnt Violence. 
Click image for full-size shareable

We realize that the murder of these women was not an isolated act. Along with violence against women in homes, workplaces, and the street, this tragedy is yet another manifestation of the devaluing and blaming of women which is embedded in our society and internalized in individuals.

Violence is a chosen response. Society must become more serious about ending violence against women and children. Our institutions must work and achieve equality including equal power between men and women.

Anti-Violence Programs and Resources

Anti-Violence: Getting Past the Headlines

Violence against women and children makes the news almost every day. This opens up countless opportunities to get past the headlines and help your students examine the:

  • history of violence against women; social, political, racial, and media context of violence;
  • psychological, social and economic impact on women's (and children's) lives;
  • needs of women and children who have witnessed or experienced violence;
  • police and legal response;
  • political response by various levels of governments, and;
  • role of education, anti-violence and anti-sexism programs in schools.

Roots of Equality

Between 2006 and 2008, ETFO members developed a collection of resources called Roots of Equality.  Partially funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate, the resources are designed to help educators foster students’ healthy, equal relationships and raise awareness of violence against women. Roots of Equality resources are available for download from this website.

Woman Abuse Affects Our Children

This program, started in 2007-2008, is funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate. Two-day regional workshops prepare members to facilitate local workshops, focused on the effects of violence against women on children.  Contact Alice Te at ate@etfo.org, for more information, or go to www.curriculum.org/womanabuse for downloadable resources.

Springtide Resources

The best source for general information about violence against women is Springtide Resources, a Toronto-based organization whose mission is to inform and educate the community about the issue of wife assault/woman abuse in order to decrease the incidence of physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual violence against women and the effect that woman abuse has on children. Materials are available from their website, or you can order their publications online, by phone, or mail.

Springtide Resources
Suite 220, 215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 2C7
Phone: (416) 968-3422
TTY: (416) 968-7335
Fax: (416) 968-2026
Website: www.springtideresources.org

Useful Websites

Take Action

Violence is learned behaviour, and all forms of violence are related

As long as racial taunts and sexist comments continue to exist in our classrooms, violence in schools will continue. As long as the media (including movies, music, video games, and advertisements) portray a litany of violent acts, violence will continue. As long as children grow up in abusive homes and witness abuse, violence will continue.

Solutions to ending violence must be collaborative in nature and holistic in scope. That means classroom teachers, schools, local boards, and the community itself must work together to change a lifetime of learning violence.

Local Status of Women Committees can do their part by forming partnerships with community groups, increasing awareness within the school community, and implementing anti-violence initiatives. Here are some suggestions:

Curriculum

  • Encourage your school and district school board to use programs such as The Peacemaker Program, Second Step, and/or other problem-solving and social skills programs;
  • Encourage grade 6, 7, 8 teachers to plan a day of workshops on violence awareness and prevention for the students. These could include topics such as family violence, dating violence, gang violence, date rape, racism, and sexual harassment;
  • Encourage school anti-violence programs that begin in the early years.

Professional Development

  • Encourage the district school board to plan workshops for professional development on the issue of violence. 

Resources

  • Encourage the district school board to provide funding for classroom resources that deal with issues of violence;

Policies

  • Ask for input into all district school board policies related to issues of violence;
  • Ensure anti-violence policies include development, implementation, monitoring, and revision practices;
  • Encourage teachers to involve parents in developing classroom rules and reinforcing them by expecting the same standards at home;
  • Emphasize prevention: no bullying, no harassment, no name-calling, even in the early years;
  • Encourage schools to involve the whole community, including students, in discussing violence in the schools and what can be done about it.

What suggestions do you have? Let us know by emailing Alice Te at ate@etfo.org.

Supporting Women's Shelters

Women in Crisis is an ETFO Women’s Program that provides donations to existing women’s crisis centres and start-up grants to newly established women’s crisis centres. Locals are encouraged to make a matching donation in money or in-kind services. Contact your local Status of Women Chairperson or president. You can locate women’s shelters at www.shelternet.ca [removed link on April 30, 2012].

Here are some ideas for providing financial assistance and in-kind services for shelters in your area:

  • Hold silent auctions of crafts and items donated by teachers and community members;
  • Hold draws, raffles, and other events to raise money;
  • When members come to local events, ask them to bring useful items for women and children in crisis centres (The centres will be able to tell what they need.);
  • Encourage members to collect samples given out by hotels (shampoo, soap, etc.) when travelling. These can be collected in the staff room and given to the shelter once a year;
  • Encourage members to donate used clothing and household goods to the local shelter;
  • Organize a collection of backpacks filled with school supplies for children living in shelters;
  • Hold casual Fridays and donate the money to the shelters. Have draws, raffles, and other events, which raise money;
  • Call your local shelter to find out ways of volunteering time in lieu of money.

Board/Shelter Protocol

Children from shelters attend the schools in their neighbourhoods. This offers another opportunity to provide non-monetary support to women’s shelters. Find out what the arrangement is between the district school board and the women’s shelter. If no protocol exists, work with the district school board and the shelter to develop one.

How have you helped women's shelters in your area? Let us know by emailing Alice Te at ate@etfo.org.

Suggestions for Activities in the Classroom

Adapted from materials developed by the December 6th Coalition in Waterloo.

  • Jr. and Sr. Kindergarten:
    Discuss their right to safety both at home and at school. Make a class booklet titled “At home and at play...You should feel safe every day."
  • Grades 1-3:
    Have children make a picture depicting a time when they have felt safe from danger. Compare it with a picture of feeling unsafe. Discuss the differences.
  • Grades 4-6:
    Discussion topics could include the right to a safe environment, how to resolve disputes without violence or disrespect and where to go for help if an uncomfortable or unsafe situation presents itself.
  • Grades 7-8:
    Have students write lyrics or poems to commemorate the significance of December 6th and the impact of violence. Discussion topics could include the right to a safe environment, the right to be treated equally, and with respect and zero tolerance for violence in school.

Do you have suggestions for other classroom activities?  Let us know by emailing Alice Te at ate@etfo.org.