16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

Join in this collaboration between Comox Valley Transition Society and Comox Valley Arts to build awareness, take action, and move our community forward.

In the years since #MeToo, issues of sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence have moved to the forefront of public discussion. Canadians, led by the courageous voices of survivors and their families, have been encouraged to reflect on their own actions and determine how they can best support ending gender-based violence. 

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10, have always been a time to increase awareness about the disproportionate levels of violence faced by women and girls, as well as diverse populations, including Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2 community members, gender non-binary individuals, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors. 

In 2021, after more than 18 months of a global pandemic and shared experience – and a worldwide spike in Gender-based Violence – it’s more important than ever to put light on this issue, and offer solutions and  support to our communities, and to acknowledge survivors. 

In partnership with

The Comox Valley Transition Society and Comox Valley Arts invite you to participate in our community stitch project during the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence global campaign.

This project aims to raise awareness and creatively engage all community members to reflect on how gender-based violence impacts their community and ways they can commit to helping end it.

The community stitch project is an opportunity to explore the healing and therapeutic benefits of creativity, particularly hand stitching which can offer a quiet pause for us to slow down in an increasingly fast-paced and complicated world.

Whether you choose to stitch alone or with others, the meditative/relaxing qualities of hand stitching with different colors of threads and fabric offer an opportunity to be creative without judgement or needing to know what the finished piece “has to” look like.

What’s most important is that you feel welcome to join the community project, feel connected to the issue and to others who want to express their acknowledgement of it through the participation of this community art project.

It’s also about “women’s work”

Part of this project is about honoring the tradition/history of stitching/textiles as dominated by women but also acknowledging the exploitation of women in the industrial production of textiles.

How to Participate in the Community Stitch Project & activism

pick up a free stitch kit!

  • During Moonlight & Magic in Downtown Courtenay November 19, 5-8pm at The Spool Sewing Studio (420 Fitzgerald Ave)
  • At a Regional Library – Comox, Courtenay or Cumberland between Nov 25 thru Dec 4
  •  At either location of Too Good to Be Threw  (456 5th St. and 239 Puntledge Rd.)

Stitch Groups and other activities during the Campaign (watch for updates!)

Create your own stitch group! This is a wonderful way to be with friends, family, even co-workers. It’s can also be a deeply personal journey you may wish to do on your own.

If you wish to, please share your stitching progress and ideas and tag #cv16days and/or any of the orgs involved in the campaign.

Follow CV/Arts for more on stitching project activities, as they are announced.

Be sure to follow CVTS on facebook to learn more about Gender-Based Violence and how you can participate in eliminating it in your own circle.

DROP OFF YOUR STITCHING between Dec 4 through 10, FOR INCLUSION IN THE COMMUNITY PIECES

  • Wherever you picked it up! (or any of the other locations)
  • Stay tuned as we build those individual pieces into larger pieces for presentation on International Women’s Day (March 8) 

Reflection, Processing, Healing

While stitching, we encourage you to reflect on the theme of gender-based violence, why you think its important to raise awareness about it and what things, big and small, you can do everyday to help combat it.

Reflecting allows us to work on our beliefs and assumptions and to develop our learning. It also helps us challenge our fears about dealing with sensitive topics in open and honest ways. By accepting the awkwardness around not bringing them up in ‘polite society’, we can become passive bystanders of violence and injustice.

Having boldly vulnerable conversations with ourselves through reflective thinking is often the first step towards feeling more comfortable and courageous about discussing them with others.

What is Gender-based Violence (GBV), really?

Experiencing violence can have devastating health and social impacts on the lives of individuals, families, communities and Canadian society as a whole. 

Gender-based violence (GBV) involves the use and abuse of power and control over another person and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is one form of gender-based violence. It also has a disproportionate impact on LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit) and gender-non conforming people. 

Gender-based violence includes any act of violence or abuse that can result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering. Examples of forms of violence and abuse include: 

  • physical violence; 
  • sexual violence (including child sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual exploitation); 
  • emotional and psychological violence (including threats and intimidation); 
  • harassment; 
  • online violence/technology-facilitated violence; 
  • financial abuse; and 
  • structural/systemic violence. 

Who experiences GBV in our community?

Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at particular risk. For example: 

  • women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into account;  
  • young women, aged 15-34 years, are at highest risk of experiencing violence; 
  • Indigenous women (10%) were more than three times as likely to report being a victim of spousal violence as non- Indigenous women (3%). Indigenous identity is a key risk factor for victimization among women, even when controlling for the presence of other risk factors; 
  • women living with physical and cognitive impairments experience violence two to three times more often than women living without impairments; 
  • people self-identifying as homosexual or bisexual are three times more likely than heterosexuals to be victims of violence; 
  • 59% of senior victims of family violence were senior women, with a rate 24% higher than that of senior men; and 
  • women living in the territories are victimized at a rate eight times higher than those living in the provinces. Women living in the territories have a risk of violent victimization about 45% higher than men’s (when controlling for other risk factors). Remote and isolated communities face particular challenges related to access and availability of support. 

What can I do to help eliminate GBV?

Recently, public attention has shone a light on what statistics have long confirmed: women in Canada and around the world continue to face violence each and every day. In response to this all-too-familiar reality #MYActionsMatter asks the question: what will you do? 

GBV involves the use and abuse of power and control over another person and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is one form of GBV. It also has a disproportionate impact on LGBTQ2 and gender non-binary people. 

Look closely and you will see the roots of GBV all around you — in sexist jokes that demean women, in the language that we use, in media messages that objectify women, and in the rigid gender norms we impose on young children.  

We are using #MYActionsMatter to ask Canadians what they can do to prevent GBV, and invite you to use one of the five ways in which you can become an ally in our efforts to end GBV: 

  • Listen – be open to learning from the experiences of others. 
  • Believe – support survivors and those affected by violence. 
  • Speak out – add your voice to call out violence. 
  • Intervene – find a safe way to help when you see acts of GBV. 
  • Act – give your time to organizations working to end violence, and be the change you want to see. 

Please feel free to download and share these graphics & gifs

Stop Gender-Based Violence - heart with animated centre

About the Global Campaign

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign. Inspired by the original vision and history of the Campaign, which focused on raising awareness about violence against women (VAW), and considering the continuing impunity for femicide, this year the Campaign will focus on the issue of “femicide or the gender-related killing of women.”

In 2021, in addition to the anniversary theme, the Campaign will continue its program activities to end gender-based violence (GBV) in the world of work by focusing on the link between domestic violence and the world of work, drawing on legal standards outlined in ILO Convention 190 (C190) and the actions put forward in Recommendation 206 (R206).

COVID-19 has presented us with new challenges which call for individual and collective solutions. Let’s continue our efforts all year round from 16 to 365 days of activism, to advance the human rights of women. A world without violence is possible and this moment demands unparalleled courage and joint action to make this vision a reality. More information, including about upcoming events, and advocacy materials as well as opportunities to contribute to the anniversary celebrations will be disseminated by the Campaign soon. Stay tuned! Read more.