May 17, 2017 - by Chynna Laird

Five years ago, I made the most vital and life-saving decision I’d ever made. I chose to break up a 14-year relationship with the father of my four children. The break up was a no-brainer, really. It should have happened years before it finally did; women in abusive relationships face many barriers to leaving.

I went from a strong, independent, self-reliant woman to being completely controlled by and dependent on someone else. It didn’t help that he was verbally abusive, both to me and my kids. When we actually did speak, his words were filled with sexual innuendos and/or insults, usually in front of the children.

I knew long before I finally built up the courage to end things that it needed to be done. But I wanted to make sure my kids would be taken care of properly, and that I had the resources to do it. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to get out of a relationship that hurts you on many levels. Some women aren’t lucky enough to get out.

May 16, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

“Young women are telling us loud and clear they’re worried about the future of gender equality in Canada,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She’s responding to the sobering findings of a new Canadian Women’s Foundation study that indicate 79 per cent of Canadians believe Gen Z women (those born after 1999) will be just as likely or even more likely to feel unsafe because of their gender.

The study asked participants whether they expect the next generation of women to experience various forms of violence: sexual assault, online harassment, physical violence from a partner, as well as sexual harassment in public or at work. In all of the categories, the majority said violence against women will either persist or get worse.

May 11, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

This is an updated version of a story originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE magazine.

When Maya* left her abusive husband, she feared for her children’s safety. To protect them, she waived her financial and property rights in exchange for an agreement that her husband wouldn’t seek custody of the children. He later changed his mind and took her to court to demand access.

Maya couldn’t afford a lawyer, but didn’t qualify for legal aid. For guidance, she turned to the Jane Doe Legal Advice Clinic, a service that was delivered by West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) in Vancouver, BC.

May 9, 2017 - by Haydee

7.4 billion is the annual estimated cost of spousal violence in Canada

As part of the Foundation’s annual Campaign to End Violence, we’re asking Canadians to make a donation and send a message of support to women in shelters. It was the support and encouragement of others that helped Haydee rebuild her life after experiencing violence many years ago. In today’s blog post, Haydee shares some of her story and reflects on what she would say to her younger self.
 
Years ago, I was living in isolation land. I had made the difficult decision to take my daughter and leave an abusive relationship, with only a small suitcase and a few family photos in hand.
 
April 28, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

7 in 10 people who experience family violence are women and girlsWhen Haydee made the heart-wrenching decision to leave an abusive relationship, she felt “alone on a life raft, in the middle of a dark ocean.”

With the help of counselling and encouragement from others, she and her daughter began rebuilding their lives.

“That feeling (of support) fuelled my courage and strengthened my determination to start anew.”

What can you do to support women who have experienced violence?

April 13, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

Kathy Tuccaro with her truckKathy Tuccaro never pictured herself as a heavy equipment operator, but a skilled trades program at Women Building Futures helped her take her life in a new direction.

AT JUST SEVEN years old, Kathy Tuccaro started running away from home.

She says she was first molested as a young child living in foster care, and continued to experience verbal, physical, and sexual abuse during her childhood, as well as throughout her adulthood life.

She went on to have a daughter and become a nurse, but was haunted by her past. She struggled with self-harm, toxic relationships, and alcoholism.

April 11, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

Wage Gap StatisticAre you seeing red today? If so, that’s a good thing!

It’s Equal Pay Day, and the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition is calling on people to wear red to acknowledge that women are still “in the red” due to the gender wage gap.

Equal Pay Day marks the date that represents how far into this calendar year women must work to earn what men did in the last year. When you account for the gender wage gap, a woman in Ontario would have to work 15.5 months to earn what men earn in 12 months. That brings us to early April.