News

Nov 21, 2019

Violence against Women


For all of us at Na'amat Canada, November 25 marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Dedicated as our organization is to raising awareness about domestic abuse, this day holds particular significance for us. So many still suffer in silence that it's impossible to calculate the number of women and girls experiencing violence at the hands of an intimate partner, spouse or relative.

November 25th is the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


December 6th (in Canada) - is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, marking the targeted massacre of “feminists” at the Université de Montréal’s École Polytechnique in 1989; 14 women died, and 14 were injured, including men. 


abuse faces Nov 25According to a Maclean's investigation by Anne Kingston, published Sept. 17, 2019, these items are directly related to each other. She shows example after example of how the systems, politicians and people continue to fail women and girls involved in intimate partner violence in Canada.  The same is true worldwide. (Click here to read her full article.)

  • In 2005, nurse Lori Dupont was stabbed to death at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in Windsor, Ont., by a staff doctor she’d broken up with and who was known to threaten and stalk her.
  • Sept. 22, 2015, in Wilno, Ont. Basil Borutski had a decades-long record of domestic abuse and stalking; he strangled Carol Culleton, then shot Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam.
  • December 3, 2016 - Mohammed Shamji, a Toronto-based neurosurgeon is arrested for first-degree murder. The victim was his wife, Elana Fric, a family physician and mother of their three children.

It’s impossible to calculate the number of women and girls experiencing violence at the hands of an intimate partner, spouse or relative. The majority—more than 80 per cent, according to one StatsCan estimate—go unreported.


Most of the 1,300 new callers at the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter every year never contact hospitals, doctors or police, says Sophia Hladik, its spokesperson. She notes an alarming rise in the severity of violence reported, including more accounts of strangulation.
 
[it is believed] that victims can always just leave; that violence in the home is of a lesser order; that a non-violent person cannot become violent; and that shelters are an adequate response. We’re asking the wrong questions. Instead of “Why does she stay?,” we need to ask “Why does he abuse?” and “How do we keep a family safe?” Women don’t “stay”. They constantly calculate how and if they can leave, so they and their children can escape harm.

Intimate-partner violence persists -  “Men abuse women because society tells them they can be in control.”  It’s a society, that can be cruel to men too.

An April 2018 report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur found violence against women in Canada remains a “serious pervasive and systematic problem” and “unfinished business that requires urgent actions.”
 
Domestic abuse is different from other crimes, like robbery or stranger assault, because it’s ongoing, never a one-time event. But people don’t want to accept that, says Bainbridge: “We want to believe that this is normally a good person who lost it one time. We don’t see how it’s insidious, it’s deliberate, it’s conscious. He knows exactly who to pick to get away with the abuse. It’s not as if he’s never been upset with his boss. But if you punch your boss, there are huge repercussions.”

 
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