Brock to engage in 16-day campaign against gender-based violence

Members of the Brock community are invited to join in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Organized by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, the annual international campaign begins Thursday, Nov. 25, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Brock’s Schmon Tower will be illuminated in purple in recognition of the day.

The campaign will then continue with the University hosting various online and in-person events throughout the 16-day observation before wrapping up Friday, Dec. 10, World Human Rights Day.

Brock will also illuminate Schmon Tower in purple on Monday, Dec. 6 to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day is commemorated annually in Canada on the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, in which an armed student murdered 14 women and injured 10 others.

As Dec. 6 may be a particularly difficult day for some students, Brock’s Human Rights and Equity (HRE) office will be offering a special drop-in in MCE 205 for anyone needing support or a safe space on campus.

Throughout the 16 days, anyone interested in learning more about the campaign can also access an asynchronous website run by HRE that will commemorate and educate about the Polytechnique massacre while providing resources and expanding knowledge on gender-based violence against disabled women, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, and queer and trans People of Colour.

Fouth-year Fine Arts student and Gender and Sexual Violence Peer 2 Peer Support Worker Rabia Choudhary said the theme of anti-ableism will also be explored as part of this year’s campaign.

“We’re excited to be working closely with the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee to help incorporate the theme of anti-ableism into the 16 Days of Activism,” she said. “Each event explores the nuances of gender-based violence (GBV) and ableism, an extremely important topic because disabled women are at high risk of experiencing GBV. I know that I will be learning many new things this week, and I encourage everyone else to show up to do the same.”

Along with web resources, there will be several events taking place on campus and across the region, including a movie screening and discussion about disability and dating, a panel discussion about gender-based violence and activism in multiple circles and sectors, and an Instagram live giveaway of information packages and goodie bags.

Talia Ritondo, HRE’s Gender and Sexual Violence Education Co-ordinator, said the length of the campaign and variety of resources provided will allow people to explore a range of events and opportunities.

“Hosting events and workshops for the 16 Days of Activism is so important, because it shows the many spaces and ways that students, staff and faculty can engage in activism,” she said. “It’s also important to incorporate activism throughout the 16 days in support of women from multiple marginalized communities, because statistically they are more likely to be harmed by gender-based violence.”

More information and a full list of events related to the 16 Days of Activism and National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is available on the HRE website.

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