Category: Empowering girls
This post was originally published on the Klinic’s blog.
This evening I am again sitting in on a SERC youth session at Peaceful Village, this time at a south end Winnipeg high school. As I mentioned in a previous post, Peaceful Village offers programming that supports integration and literacy for newcomer families and youth, and our partnership with them is funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. To learn more please read my first blog on this partnership, Healthy Relationships Start Young.
This is week 9 of the 12 week session and Bre, one of our Sexuality & Reproductive Health Facilitators, invited me to attend because she is so impressed by the thoughtfulness and exuberance of this unique group. In fact, she tells me, last week one of the students started a discussion on the idealization of masculinity and how it affects male youth–this is clearly a young man after my own heart. Today we are talking about consent.
In May, a wildfire engulfed Fort McMurray, Alberta, and thousands of people were evacuated as the flames scorched forests and homes in its path. In response, people from coast to coast demonstrated the kindness Canadians are famous for.
The crisis came at a difficult time in Alberta—the province has been struggling to deal with a recession for months. As the fire died down, another disturbing story emerged: domestic violence has been on the rise in Calgary.
Police believe that the stress of the province’s economic slump and subsequent job loss has exacerbated the problem. Alarmingly, research also shows that violence between partners can increase following a natural disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, violence between partners rose by 98%. In unstable conditions, shelters may be forced to close, making women increasingly vulnerable to violence.
What would you do if you found out your grandmother had been hurt by another family member? Or you saw your elderly neighbour being yelled at by her caregiver?
It’s painful to picture our older friends and family members being abused by the people they trust. Yet, a survey released in 2016 by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly estimated that 766,000 Canadian seniors – more than three-quarters of a million – were abused last year.
On June 15, people all over the globe are recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to shed much-needed light on the issue. Elder abuse is “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person,” according to the World Health Organization.
Kathryn Borel’s recent statement about why she pressed charges against Jian Ghomeshi drew national attention to the issue of sexual harassment at work. But many cases will never be reported or make the headlines.
Disturbingly, workplace sexual harassment is fairly common in Canada, particularly for women. A 2014 Angus Reid poll indicated that 43% of women have received unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours or have been subjected to sexually-charged jokes while at work. Women are four times as likely as men to have experienced harassment. Twenty per cent say they’ve been sexually assaulted while on the clock.