White Ribbon was thrilled to participate in the very first Shelters of the Future Conference organized by Women’s Shelters Canada from June 13-15, 2018 in Ottawa. As an organization dedicated to redressing the root causes of gender-based violence, it is imperative we also understand the lived realities of survivors, and the challenges faced by shelters and transition homes.
The need is real
Over and over numerous women’s shelters and transition homes spoke about the increasing need in the community for effective, meaningful and survivor-centered VAW response. Shelters provided staggering annual numbers of 10,000-15,000 calls to crisis lines. This equates to at least 1 call every hour to a shelter in Canada.
Innovative spirits were high
Renae Hopf and Nathalie Trottier shared their stories of resilience, power and hope. Their strength and vulnerability in sharing their experience was overwhelming. Needed Kleenex. So much Kleenex. Thank you Renae and Nathalie.
It takes all of us
Together with the We Want No More Project and the Timmins Family Violence Interagency Action Committee, White Ribbon presented on key campaigns, and effective messaging and approaches for meaningful male engagement.
To the guys reading this- Strengthening Ties is looking for 50 men across the country to make a $3,000 commitment over three years to Women’s Shelters Canada. They also agree to be advocates speaking out against domestic violence. Hurry- 37 men have already confirmed. Visit the White Ribbon website for some inspiration and tools in speaking out.
As an organization dedicated to preventing gender-based violence (from subtle emotional forms to physical violence), we are keen to have further dialogue and collaboration to advance gender-transformative programming that can be adapted to local contexts, together with women’s shelters and organizations.
I’ve only scratched the surface of some of the amazing experience which were shared over the past couple days, but my cup is full to the brim.
Written by Kate Bojin, Director of Programs, White Ribbon