Week Without Violence
Signs of Violence: October 15-21, 2012
Learn the signs. Take action. Help end violence against women
Every October, YWCAs across Canada mark Week Without Violence, a national week of violence prevention.
YWCA Metro Vancouver’s 2012 Week Without Violence campaign, Signs of Violence, teaches people how to recognize the signs of abuse such as harassing text messages, controlling behaviour and forced isolation.
Telling her what to wear can be a sign of violence
Destroying her things can be a sign of violence
Harassing text messages can be a sign of violence
How prevalent is violence against women in Canada?
Fifty percent of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incidence of violence since the age of 16 and, on average, a woman is killed every six days by her intimate partner. Two thirds of all women who experience sexual assault are between ages 15 and 24 years old, making youth one of the most vulnerable populations to experience violence against women.
How can you help?
3. Download the campaign posters and hang them up in your community.
- Controlling what she wears can be a sign of violence
- Destroying her things can be a sign of violence
- Harassing text messages can be a sign of violence
What you can do
If you are being abused:
- Remember, you are not alone
- Talk to someone you trust
Learn the signs at signsofviolence.org.
If you know someone who is being abused:
- Believe her
- Let her know she is not alone
- Tell her the abuse is not her fault
- Tell her you value her as a person
- Read and collect information to pass on to her
- Talk about her choices and help her develop a safety plan
- Provide a place for your friend and her children to stay in bad times
- Help her find housing if she plans to leave
- Show that you believe in her and her ability to deal with change
It is important to remember:
- Don’t tell her what to do, when to leave or when not to leave
- Don’t push her before she is ready
- Don’t make her feel bad for staying
- Don’t tell her to go back to the situation
- Don’t tell her to stay for the sake of the children
- Don’t be angry with her if she does decide to go back. Many women go back to abusive situations before they finally leave
- Don’t talk to her partner about it
Speak out against abuse. Be an active bystander
When trying to stop abusive relationships, we often focus on the victim, because we feel helpless to change the abuser. But connecting with the abuser is just as important to end the cycle of abuse. If we look the other way we are simply bystanders.
Find tips and tools on how you can be an active bystander and support someone being emotionally abused.
YWCA Metro Vancouver programs and services to help abused women
- Munroe House is a second-stage transition house for women and their children who have left abusive relationships.
- The Children Who Witness Abuse program is offered at Munroe house and uses one-to-one counselling, workshops and art/play therapy to help children identify their feelings and express them in a healthy way.
- The Violence Outreach Program at YWCA Crabtree Corner, located in the Downtown Eastside, provides support for women who experience violence in their relationships.
- The Legal Education Program offers one-to-one legal support, education on a wide range of legal topics and provides specific resources and referrals.