16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Taking action in ending violence against girls and women

 November 25 – December 10, 2013

On Monday, November 25, 2013, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) announces our second annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. BWSS joins millions of activists from across Canada and around the world in a call for an end to gender-based violence and we seek to engage individuals, communities, governments and the larger society to increase our response, to act and prevent gender-based violence.  Over the next 16 Days we seek to demonstrate how social structures, historical underpinnings, violent masculinities, harmful traditions, and legal policies help normalize gender-based violence and impunity.  We will raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level. We will also demonstrate how women, girls, boys and men are taking action, resisting violence, seeking safety, owning their role, teaching others, both here, in Canada, and around the world.

It may come as a surprise, but there is no country and no society which is not profoundly affected by gender-based violence.  So it continues to be the responsibility of all of us to bring an end to this serious human rights violation. From Canada to Afghanistan, from the UK to Zimbabwe, the 16 Days Campaign is a powerful platform to help us find authentic ways to advocate for an end to gender-based violence.

16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women begins on November 25th, continues through December 6th and concludes on December 10th.  Here’s more about the significance of these dates.

On November 25, 1960, three Mirabel sisters were brutally assassinated for opposing the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. Since 1981, the date 25 November has been marked as tribute to the Mirabel sisters and also as global recognition of gender violence by United Nations and activists. November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, is a day commemorated in Canada each December 6, the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, in which fourteen women were singled out for their gender and murdered. It is often marked by vigils, discussions and other reflections on violence against women.

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.

The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.  As one of the most pressing human rights issues, violence against women is fused with Human Rights Day.

What to Do?

Join us!  Here’s how:

Online:  www.bwss.org is where you will find our new website, created by the amazing Jamie Leigh, filled with lots information and resources.  If you’re looking for something that is not there, email us at endingviolence@bwss.org.

Every day throughout the 16 Days, head to our Ending Violence Blog www.bwss.org/endingviolence to read articles from activists, front-line workers, advocates and inspirational stories written by women who courageously share their experiences of resistance, of survival.  Please participate in the conversation by leaving a comment, sharing with others through social  media or email.

We are always looking for articles to share with our amazing online community.  If you have an article or wish to write, please email us with your idea at endingviolence@bwss.org.

Twitter is a fast, dynamic and effective way to communicate, during the 16 Days (and beyond) join the conversation at @EndingViolence and follow the hashtag #16Days

If you’re in Vancouver, Coast Salish territory, stop by My Sister’s Closet located at 1092 Seymour Street (at Helmcken) in Yaletown and experience eco fashion, thrifting and artisan sensibility while contributing to the work to end gender violence.

Donate – Join the movement, our movement, your movement.

Take action and make a difference…

Join our Circle of Strength

The word is out and everyday at Battered Women’s Support Services we receive more crisis calls  from women who are living in fear and with dominance and are seeking safety,  We are receiving more and more requests from the community to provide our services. Join our Circle of Strength monthly giving program and become a vital partner in our chain of response… Your monthly donation is essential to deliver support services to women survivors of violence every day on our crisis lines, in counselling, and in support groups and to empower our community through training and education programs. With your contribution, together we are taking action to end gender violence.  Donate today to commemorate 16 Days.

Support My Sister’s Closet, a social enterprise of BWSS

As a community thrift boutique My Sister’s Closet is a safe and welcoming space for community to engage with us and/or join our efforts in ending violence against women and girls, through beautiful thrift fashion for men and women and artisan designs.


Volunteer to prevent violence against women. There are many ways to support women survivors of violence and contribute our ending violence work. Battered Women’s Support Services offers volunteer opportunities on our  Crisis and Intake Line, within our Women’s Safety and Outreach Program, at BWSS office, and at My Sister’s Closet, social enterprise of BWSS. Learn more about how you can volunteer your time.

Connect & Share

Social media has an empowering effect if you use it to voice your view. During 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence log onto BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services for information and tools for action, and spread the word to raise awareness about violence against women and shift the culture of violence.

Battered Womens’ Support Services:

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BWSS 16 days - POSTER final_NEW

You can download the poster here.