THUNDER BAY – November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 6 marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada
Last year I wrote a letter to the editor on this topic outlining some of the startling international statistics of violence against women and indicated that as a society we have to demonstrate through our words and actions that violence against women is wrong, and will not be tolerated.
I received some criticism for my letter for allegedly ignoring the fact that any violence is wrong not just violence against women. I couldn’t agree more. So let me be clear. Violence is wrong in any context.
According to police statistics from across the country and the western world the violent crime rates are decreasing.
One can only hope that the rates of violence continue to decrease and one can only hope that the rate of violence against women decreases as well.
However, looking at Statistics Canada data I am not convinced the rates of violence against women are proportionally decreasing. We can not be complacent. The reality is in Canada, 1 in 10 women are victims of spousal abuse and 51 % of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
Further, violence against women occurs across all ethnic, racial, religious, age, social and economic groups.
As a society we must redouble our efforts to curb violence. We have much work to do. I wish there were simple solutions. Unfortunately there are not.
I do have some hope. Activities like “The White Ribbon Campaign” which started in the early 1990s has now spread to over 57 countries around the world. It is an effort of men and boys working to end violence against women. I would urge all men and boys in our region to join in this campaign.
Councillor City of Thunder Bay
Current River Ward