Resources for Gender-Based Violence
2018 Inappropriate or Harassing Behaviours in Canada
10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence, Jackson Katz
By the Numbers: Violence Against Women and Girls in Canada, Women’s Shelter Canada
Engaging Men and Boys To Reduce and Prevent Gender-Based Violence, White Ribbon Campaign
Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Stats Can publications, Section 2: Police-reported intimate partner violence in Canada, 2018
Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2017
Resources for Sexual Violence & Consent
Sexual violence broadly encompasses varying behaviours and actions that are sexual in nature and are forced, coerced, or manipulated onto a person without their consent. Sexual violence is not limited to physical contact between the survivor and the perpetrator, it includes threats, exploitation, trafficking, unwanted sexual contact, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking/cyberstalking, and exposure. Sexual violence is a crime of power and control.
Over the last few years, there has been tremendous movement to combat sexual violence and raise awareness. Despite stronger laws and global messaging, we still have a long way to go. Canadian law requires consent to be given freely and continuously; yet in 2015, the Canadian Women’s Foundation reported two-thirds of Canadians do not fully understand consent. This lack of understanding of consent is further complicated when technology is involved. In a survey about consent, 21% of survey respondents between 18 and 34 years of age believe sending explicit photos, texts, or emails counts as providing consent. These startling facts reinforce the need for more education on the meaning of consent and how it functions in our relationships.
What is MentorAction?
MentorAction is a program of Interval House of Hamilton and is located within the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. MentorAction engages youth and men who are committed to eradicating gender-based violence and through education, mentorship and community participation challenge existing norms that sustain or perpetuate gender-based violence.
What does MentorAction do to stop gender-based violence?
MentorAction is committed to eradicating gender-based awareness through actively raising awareness, engaging allies and working to build safer communities.
Isn’t violence against women the same as gender-based violence?
Mistakenly, the terms Violence Against Women (VAW) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) are often used interchangeably. Gender-based violence recognizes all people have the right to live violence-free, however many people experience some form of violence based on their gender, gender expression, gender identify or perceived gender. Violence Against Women is a gender-based crime as the majority of people who experience violence are overwhelmingly women. It is important to recognize the uniqueness of each definition.
Is violence really gender-based, that is, is violence something that men perpetrate against women?
Evidence and statistics indicate women are more likely than men to experience intimate partner violence. According to 2018 police-reported data, women accounted for almost 8 in 10 victims (79%) of intimate partner violence. In Canada, women also account for the vast majority of victims of intimate partner homicides. According to police-reported data, women accounted for close to 8 in 10 victims (77%) of intimate partner homicides committed in 2018 in Canada. Women in Canada are more likely than men to be sexually assaulted. Between 2009 and 2014, the vast majority (87%) of police-reported sexual assault victims were women or girls, most of whom (70%) were under the age of 25.
What about violence against men by women, isn’t that important too?
Any violence, no matter who perpetrates it is wrong and harmful. That includes violence by men toward other men, by men toward young people, and by women toward men and young people. Violence by women toward men is a relatively rare occurrence when compared to that by men toward women and as such, is the focus of MentorAction.
How do I talk to my male friends and teammates about gender-based violence?
Being a leader is not easy – but when one person takes a stand, others will follow. In cases of intimate partner abuse, it is critical to first connect with the survivor. Approach the survivor in a safe place and ask them if you can help – remember to believe the survivor and understand they know the barriers and complexities of their relationship. If the survivor agrees to you intervening, take a moment and plan. First, consider your safety, their safety, and the survivor’s safety. Think about what you want to say – remember you want to have a conversation, so plan to calm and clear. It may feel difficult to confront a friend about their actions, but the only way to create change is to challenge unacceptable behaviours.
What kind of actions are known to make a difference and reduce gender-based violence?
Violence prevention programs are known to effectively reduce gender-based violence. Engaging and educating youth about gender-based violence and providing simple tools to interrupt the cycle of violence is one way to prevent future violence. Challenging harmful and rigid gender roles and expectations, while building healthy masculinity messaging is another preventative action to reduce gender-based violence. Encouraging men to hold each other accountable, ample funding directed towards agencies combatting gender-based violence, widespread community education and a responsive criminal justice system are all needed to effectively end gender-based violence.
Why do men have to be involved in ending gender-based violence? Isn’t this something that women are working on already?
Simply put, men listen to other men – their fathers, brothers, friends, teammates, and work mates. And, with the majority of violence against women perpetrated by men, it’s vitally important that men who do not perpetrate violence hold other men accountable. By challenging and disagreeing with ideas that shore up violence against women, other men can dismantle and disrupt these structures that some men use to justify their use of violence toward women. Stand up and speak out!
As a father/brother/partner to a woman or girl, I’ve never been violent toward women and girls, why should I care or get involved in ending gender-based violence?
Gender-based violence by men toward women can only continue so long as men who perpetrate violence feel entitled to do so. The majority of men are not violent. By speaking up as a unified voice against the use of violence toward women and girls, men can remove the mistaken beliefs that support the use of violence against women. This means all women, including the women that you care about, can be safer in all the situations they find themselves in at home, at work, in the community, or socializing.
Is Hamilton different from other cities in Canada with respect to gender-based violence?
Gender-based violence is a global pandemic and no community is immune – regardless of location, income levels or another defining characteristic. In 2019, Hamilton Police Services reported 7166 domestic instances with 1657 charges being laid – of the 1657 charges, 1312 charges were laid against males.