Toronto, April 26, 2020
We at White Ribbon are heartbroken at the tragic incident in Nova Scotia last weekend. This horrible act together with the loss of 22 people has brought much pain and suffering to the victim’s families, friends, and colleagues, to the local communities, to the RCMP family, and to all Canadians. We stand in solidarity with everyone impacted by this tragedy and we join in our collective grief and mourning.
While we await further information from the investigative process, we must not lose sight that the gunman began his killing spree with acts of violence against his girlfriend, and may have targeted and killed his ex and her partner. As has been the case in similar past incidents in Canada and the USA, men’s use of extreme violence is often fueled by gender-based violence including domestic violence, deep misogyny, and hatred including racism, xenophobia and homophobia.
White Ribbon supports the call from Women’s Shelters Canada for confirmation that the gunman targeted his current and former partners and any history of domestic violence. Furthermore, we call on all of us, in particular on all men and boys to speak out against this heinous act of violence, and against everyday misogyny, gender-based violence, and all forms of discrimination. Men and boys can play an important role by never committing, condoning or remaining silent about all forms of gender-based violence, in our homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
As we remember the 30th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre, the second anniversary of the Toronto van attack, and the countless other acts of violence committed by men, it’s more important than ever to consider the gender dimensions of these horrific actions. Preventing future incidents of violence like these requires us to address the roots of this hatred. In addition, we are deeply concerned about the increase in domestic violence, violence against front-line workers, racial and sexual harassment (online and offline), abuse and exploitation of vulnerable women workers, and sexual exploitation and violence against children and youth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this time of crisis (and every day), men must: recognize the impact of their harmful behaviours on others and commit to change; reach out for help when needed; embrace their role as role models and allies in promoting gender equality and supporting survivors; speak out, and commit to ending gender-based violence. We must strengthen our collective resolve to work together with government, researchers, law enforcement, and community organizations to promote gender equality and to identify and prevent the root causes of men’s violence.
White Ribbon’s gender-based violence primary prevention with men and boys is a key part of the solution, to ensure men’s use of everyday violence and tragedies like these never happen again. For more information about our work, visit www.whiteribbon.ca.
For media enquiries, contact Humberto Carolo, Executive Director, White Ribbon, [email protected].
WHITE RIBBON RESOURCES
White Ribbon has many educational and awareness resources to help you, your family, students, co-workers, and community members. Use any of the resources below or reach out to us at [email protected] for more information. If you would like to book a virtual educational session with your students, youth in the community, or staff, please visit our workshops page for more details.
Steps you can take to help end gender-based violence and promote gender equality:
1. Sign the White Ribbon Pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about gender-based violence, and subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletter and regular updates.
2. Check out our Boys Don't Cry Campaign to learn about the impact of harmful stereotypes and gender norms, and the links to toxic masculinity and gender-based violence. Our 10 tips for promoting healthy masculinity will help you raise gender equitable, emotionally literate boys.
3. Visit our Men of Quality Campaign, a partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and get some inspiration on allyship and what men can do to help end gender-based violence.
4. Visit White Ribbon's Draw the Line Campaign for information and tools to end all forms of sexual violence.
5. Become a White Ribbon Neighbours, Friends, and Families Immigrant and Refugee Community Ally and learn about domestic violence, its roots causes, and how to prevent violence against women and children in our community.
6. Visit our It Starts With You Campaign to learn more about being a good role model and the steps you can take to promote gender equality, healthy masculinities and end gender-based violence.
7. If you are experiencing gender-based violence, you are not alone. You are loved and supported. Reach out for help and visit Shelter Safe Canada or the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres for assistance near you. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
8. If you are concerned about your mental health, or behaviour, or you have used or are using violence (verbal, physical, sexual, psychological, financial), it’s important that you seek immediate help. Your well-being and the safety of those around you is paramount. Pause, reflect, make amends, and reach out to supports near you. You deserve help, and you owe it to yourself, your family and friends.
9. For COVID-19 related information including health related questions, financial help, support programs, and community resources, please visit the dedicated Government of Canada information portal.