On November 25th many people choose to wear purple as a sign of solidarity against gender based violence. Gender-based violence is the violation of the human rights of a woman and can take on various forms: physical harm, sexual harm, psychological, economic harm or suffering to women. Gender-based violence is a significant issue not only in Canada, but globally. Often though, it is hard to know on an individual level what you can do to stop something as significant and widespread as Gender-based violence (GBV).
However, there are basic steps everyone can take to work towards a future where GBV is eliminated. The following is from the Government of Canada, related to the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence:
How to be an ally:
Listening: be open to learning from the experiences of others
Believing: support survivors and those affected by violence
Speaking out: add your voice to call out violence
Intervening: find a safe way to help when you see acts of gender-based violence
Acting: give your time to organizations working to end violence
Safe Church Ministry works to equip our communities to recognize the signs of abuse and work towards ending abuse. We partner with others within our broader Christian community who share this vision with us. Our colleagues at MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) are offering a series focused specifically on Domestic Violence. We encourage you to take advantage of this fantastic series that is running through the month of November.
Information from MCC:
Domestic Violence Awareness Month Webinar Series
November 12, 2020 at 12 pm CT
November 19, 2020 at 12 pm CT
November 26, 2020 at 12pm CT
This webinar series will equip faith leaders, pastors, counsellors and spiritual care providers on issues related to domestic violence and how to respond to people impacted by intimate partner abuse and to those who use abuse.
At the end of the webinar series you will walk away with an understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and how as leaders to respond in a compassionate ways.
Understanding Domestic Violence: Forms, Dynamics, and Myths
Thursday Nov. 12 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm CT (1:00 to 2:30 pm EST)
One in three Canadian women experience abuse from an intimate partner. This webinar will unpack myths related to domestic violence and broaden our understanding of its forms and impact. We will look at barriers to disclosing abuse and how we can start to address this hidden epidemic in our faith communities.
Presented by :
- Dr. Deborah-Zita Somakoko (Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence) - Dr. Somakoko is a mother, advocate, public speaker, business owner, and God servant. Deborah Zita is the founder of Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence movement in Canada and partners with organizations, the media and the government of Manitoba to deliver domestic violence awareness events and provide support to Domestic Violence victims and their families across Manitoba.
- Jaymie Friesen (Abuse Response and Prevention Coordinator, MCC Manitoba) - As Abuse Response & Prevention Coordinator, Jaymie raises awareness and offers resources relating to healthy relationships and abuse, while supporting those impacted by abuse. Jaymie entered this role with experience as a healthy relationships educator, sexual assault crisis counsellor, and mental health worker. She holds a BA in Social Sciences and Counselling, Certificate in Applied Counselling, and is currently working on her Masters in Psychotherapy and Spirituality.
How to Support Women Experiencing Abuse
Thursday, Nov 19 from 12:00 to 1:30 CT (1:00 to 2:30 pm EST)
As support people, how will we recognize the signs of abuse when we see them? How can we respond in the best ways possible to increase women’s safety and allow women to make their own decisions? In this workshop, Karen will offer concrete, proven tools to be effective in supporting women experiencing abuse.
- Karen McAndless-Davis - Karen is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church in Canada and a Registered Professional Counsellor. She has worked in the field of violence against women for 25 years and is the co-author of When Love Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Understanding Abuse in Relationship (Penguin Random House 2016).
Working with Men Who Have Been Abusive
Thursday, Nov 26 from 12:00 to 1:30 CT (1:00 to 2:30 pm EST)
How do we walk with men who use abuse in their relationships? How do we apply a transformative justice model to domestic violence? In this webinar Magi will discuss accountability, the work required for men wanting to change, and how to offer support.
- Magi Cooper - Magi has been a dedicated advocate for domestic peace for over 30 years. Magi has co-facilitated Respectful Relationship programs for men incarcerated for spousal assault. She and her husband Bob Morrissey have also co-facilitated 40 consecutive 20 week Beyond Blame programs for men who are voluntarily seeking help to end their abusive behaviour. Magi is a Certified Hakomi Therapist and Trainer and a Right Use of Power Facilitator and Trainer.