Today I am on a panel with Ashleigh Judge (Springtide Resources); & Jackie Stevens (Avalon Sexual Assault Centre) speaking on Perspectives on preventing gender based violence at the National Skills Institute as part of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Ashleigh Judge (Springtide Resources)
Ashleigh shared their knowledge and experience on the intersection of violence against women and women with a disability (be it visible or invisible). This form of violence goes beyond understood forms of abuse such as rape. She shared abuse can include: forced abortion, pregnancy, and birth control. Moreover research indicates women with disabilities face abuse (not from strangers) but rather caregivers. Failing systems of care, are also preventing women from having choice of the gender of caregivers, having a regular caregiver (or attendant) whom you can feel more comfortable with, and not being allowed a voice in how caregiving is done.
Ashleigh explained how abuse comes from a variety of places including mis-information or no information on sexuality, resulting in women & girls with disabilities not having a language to report or describe abuse.
Jackie Stevens (Avalon Sexual Assault Centre)
Jackie shared how her programming was client focused, about how it is not just programming, but an organizational commitment to practice what you preach—it is about how to incorporate addressing violence (especially sexual violence against) in daily practice of the work we are all doing.
She said: “You cannot work in these issues in isolation—so we identify as a feminist organization”.
In Halifax, one of Jackie’s success have been about looking beyond ‘victim’s protecting themselves’ and getting individuals, organizations, and communities to challenge themselves to look at how they are enabling violence. This means, this affects us all and we all have a responsibility to address it.
So, if you are going to look at these issues we need to challenge our understanding of theses issues and take a multi-lateral approach. This means looking at all forms of oppression, and working with communities over the long term. And that programming is user informed.
Key success has been:
- Collaborating with other girls groups
- Running a series of workshops (as opposed to ‘one-offs’)
- Meeting participants where they are
- Connecting education, analysis and activism (politicization)
- Integration, peer-led, and mentorship based
- Celebrating sisterhood
- Consistently boarding the center’s analysis, understanding & knowledge level
- Sharing that education with other groups
Jeremy Dias (Jer’s Vision & Day of Pink)
I started by acknowledging the First Nations communities of the land, and the privilege that I have as a male speaking at this event.
My presentation focused on the intersections of LGBTQ communities. I began by breaking down the different forms of violence and abuse in our community looking at violence in the outside world towards LGBTQ communities and the need to challenge discrimination, oppression and messaging of heteronormativity.
We then discussed the variety of violence and relationship abuse within the LGBTQ community, such as how violence happens in MSM relationships, how the lack of support often leads to a lack of reporting, lack of men seeking help, and repetitive cycles of violence. I also spoke to my personal experiences as someone who has struggled as a victim, perpetrator and bystander; and what I have done to seek help & support, challenges within the system, and what I see as opportunities for improvement.
I also shared narratives and research from a lesbian & bi women’s communities; trans communities, intersectional communities (ex. LGBTQ people of color), and other more marginalized LGBTQ communities (ex. Bi communities, intersex, pansexual, polyamorous…).
Speaking to service providers we dialogued how they could create spaces for LGBTQ people to share how services can be more inclusive, and how to create practices to consistency build capacity to incorporate LGBTQ issues into daily practices.
NOTE: This is merely a summary of the 1.5-hour panel. For more information please reach out to Info@JersVision.org
Resources that came up:
The Healthy Sex Talk: Teaching Kids Consent, Ages 1-21
Dear Daughter, I hope you have amazing sex