Anuradha Dugal

Anu has been Director of Violence Prevention Programs at Canadian Women’s Foundation for 6 years and previous to that was a Board Member (2002 – 2007) and Chair of the Violence Prevention Committee. She is currently responsible for all national strategies related to violence against women and girls and teen violence prevention. As well of being a fierce advocate for all women, she is mother to three boys who she is trying to raise to be feminists. And she still finds time occasionally to enjoy gardening, knitting, running and has just entered her first triathlon, where she placed in the top 30%!

How to Talk to Your Teen About Healthy Relationships

Mom and son laughingEvery parent has those moments when we’re suddenly reminded how quickly our child is growing up: the first step, the first tooth, the first time they walk to school without us. For many parents, one of the most challenging milestones is realizing our child is interested in “romance” and dating. The best way to prepare them—and protect them—is to teach them how to build strong, healthy relationships.

Our children learn about relationships every day, simply by observing the world around them.  As Director of Violence Prevention at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, I can tell you that most of what they see is not good. Throughout their lifetime, the average child in Canada will witness thousands of examples of unhealthy relationships— at school, on social media, in celebrity gossip magazines, music videos, movies, and TV. If we don’t teach our children about relationships someone else will, and we won’t like the results!

What will it take to end sexual assault?

Woman looking at viewerThis article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

What will it take to end sexual assault? Sexual assault is one of the violent crimes in Canada where we have seen little improvement in the last few years. In a 2014 Statistics Canada report on violent victimization, we can see that the numbers are going down for all violent crimes – murder, battery, physical assault, even domestic violence. But the numbers for sexual assault have stayed the same for over a decade.

A recent survey by Canadian Women’s Foundation found that two thirds of Canadians believe that the majority of women are telling the truth when they say they have been sexually assaulted. This same survey asked why perpetrators commit this crime.  People said they thought perpetrators must think that sexual assault is no big deal (61%), that they have the right to the victim’s body (54%) or that they could get away with it (47%).

Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Lingerie and Roses

Couple walking and talking Since Valentine's Day is just round the corner, some of you probably have big plans. Perhaps it's a special date night or a couple's massage. Maybe you've already booked the babysitter, scheduled your mani-pedi or bought new lingerie.

Not me.

It's not because my partner and I don't love romance and chocolate. I would never say no to a big bunch of red roses, and I'm sure he would love to see me in some fancy lingerie.

I Am a Feminist Because It's Still Not Safe to Be a Woman

woman looking This article first appeared on the Huffington Post.

Post Oscar Pistorius, Bill Cosby, Jian Ghomeshi, Ray Rice, Semyon Varlamov, Brandon Underwood, Massimo Pacetti, Scott Andrews. What do all these men have in common apart from their power, their influence or their celebrity status? They are all accused (in a court of law or in the court of public opinion) of abusing women.

Strengthening Safety Online

Woman yelling at computerLike many of you, my main interaction with technology is what I find on my cell phone, my laptop and my kids’ play devices. I am not tech-savvy and I cannot be described as a geek or a nerd, except in that I wear glasses and watch Star Wars. I don’t usually worry about what lies behind the platforms, interfaces and social media sites that I waste so many important hours on. 

But recent events have opened my eyes to the huge world out there of code, engineering, design and innovation that does not usually impinge on my field of work in youth programming, healthy relationships, women’s safety and rights.

Numbers Tell Stories Too

Woman looking out windown“I came here scared and confused, they made me realize that I am worthy of so much more." This is the voice of a woman staying at a shelter in Canada.   

The stories from Shelter Voices speak to us (Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses first pan-Canadian annual survey– part of the Global Count of Women’s Shelters) – they pull us in and make us care. I love to hear women in shelters tell us how important the services are and how much better their lives are because shelter workers are there to help them. I especially like the phrase ‘I came here a caterpillar and left a butterfly’.

Resources for women living with violence

call 911 if in immediate danger Do you know someone who is living with violence? You are not alone. Two thirds of Canadians know a woman who has experienced physical or sexual violence.

If you know a woman who is experiencing violence or if you are experiencing violence, the below resources may be of assistance. You can also access these resources and more tips for how to help a woman who has experienced abuse in our Avon Tip Sheet.

Do you know someone who is living with violence?

Woman looking out the windowEvery six days, another woman in Canada is murdered by her current or former partner. Every night, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in a women’s shelter or transition house because it’s not safe for them at home.

Do you know someone who is living with violence? You are not alone. Two thirds of Canadians know a woman who has experienced physical or sexual violence.

Stop the victim-blaming

Ever wonder why women rarely report sexual assault?

Last week, a group of frosh leaders at St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia came under fire for leading freshman students in a chant encouraging underage rape. These students are from the same province where months earlier, Rehteah Parsons took her own life after being bullied and harassed after her classmates shared pictures of her online taken during her sexual assault.

Yes, victim-blaming is alive and well in Canada.