Violence Prevention Grey Bruce

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You Have a Role in Ending Gender-Based Violence

You Have a Role in Ending Gender-Based Violence

By Abbi Barrie & Jessica St. Peter

November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month, and for those working in the gender-based violence (GBV) sector within Grey-Bruce, experiences have shown how many people care about the issues of gender-based violence; there are many passionate people eager to become involved in violence prevention. Calling November Woman Abuse Prevention Month is important to draw attention to the gendered issue of family violence, domestic violence and intimate partner violence. Woman abuse clearly identifies the sexist and gendered nature of the issue, but violence prevention requires us all to take action because it harms everyone. Despite the concern and care of many, it can be challenging to determine how to translate that into concrete action. In part, the misconceptions about what causes violence (and what the solutions are) continue to be prevalent and can misdirect well-meaning efforts. Others may tackle feelings of hopelessness or overwhelm, and worry what they have to offer isn’t enough. For some, including survivors, hearing the statistics surrounding GBV and the fact that the majority of perpetrators are male may create feelings of shame or anger that become a roadblock to taking action or feeling included in the issue.

The truth is, statistics on GBV show disproportionality for all genders, just in different ways. This should alarm all people, regardless of gender, and is exactly why we need space for all genders in this conversation. Looking at GBV is not about pointing blame, not about villainizing any particular gender, it is actually an issue that affects all people, and points to systemic problems that go beyond an individual level. Thankfully, we have some incredible male role models locally, and Women’s House Serving Bruce Grey (WHSBG) is creating more space for male allyship to develop within Grey-Bruce by launching a Male Allyship Training in January 2023. This is just one way that men can help in the prevention of woman abuse.

At WHSBG, we believe that violence prevention is a community and societal responsibility, and the solutions should include the voices and involvement of all people. Here are some examples of the covert ways that inaction contributes to violence against women, and some things to consider:

  • GBV is so prevalent that the majority of people know at least one woman who has experienced violence, even if you aren’t aware of her story. Whether we realize it or not, the survivors around us and in our lives listen very carefully to our attitudes and beliefs about violence. They notice if we judge or blame someone for being victimized, they notice the “jokes” or the lack of interest or concern for issues affecting women’s safety. Many people remain silent because they know the beliefs of those around them. Don’t underestimate the impact you can have on others.
  • Sex trafficking is another issue of violence that has a gendered component – mainly that a majority of those trafficked are female. There is a misconception that consensual sex work is the same thing as sex trafficking. Sex trafficking differs in many ways, but the key point is that it is exploitative and involves a lack of consent. As long as this misconception is alive, efforts to combat sexual exploitation will be misdirected or ineffective, so it’s important to recognize the distinction.
  • Violence happens on a continuum, and when we are expecting it to be obvious when we see it, we often end up missing normalized violence that occurs on a frequent basis. It’s important that we learn to recognize GBV in all its forms and if we see or hear something, we consider what action we can take. Knowing your skills, comfort, privilege/ power in a situation are all important to think about so you can be prepared to stand up in situations where you are a bystander or witness.


Be Part of the Local Solution!

Violence prevention and bystander intervention require us all to take responsibility for the change. WHSBG asks you to consider how you can contribute in the following ways:

  1. Know WHSBG is available to support via 24h Crisis Line 1-800-265-3026, for more information about various supports please visit
  2. Follow, like and share Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey on social media- Sharing the resources and information may be the support or activation people in your networks need to know they are not alone and can help end violence.
  3. Consider booking or engaging in education groups, presentations, workshops, professional development trainings and campaigns- Contact Jessica St.Peter, Public Education and Volunteer Coordinator,
  4. Donate your time to support survivors and contribute to the prevention of violence- Contact Jessica St.Peter, Public Education and Volunteer Coordinator,
  5. Financially support the essential services of Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey by making a monthly or one-time donation- Contact Michelle Lamont, Community and Fund Development Coordinator,
  6. Participate in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10). For ideas and to share your pledges and actions check out WHSBG’s social media accounts
  7. Remember, Reflect and Pledge to Respond- November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & December 6, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
  8. Prioritize, recognize and encourage male allyship in the prevention of gender-based violence- WHSBG’s Male Allyship Virtual Training will be taking place in January 2023. Please contact Jessica St.Peter, to inquire about registering

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We are leading the way to a safer community.

Our shared vision is an inclusive community where all people live their lives free from all forms of violence and oppression, and have equal access to the best of what the community has to offer.

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