There are many who believe that women have achieved equality in contemporary society. This is far from the truth.
Would you believe me if I told you that on average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner? (Canadian Women’s Foundation). In 2014, the London Abused Women’s Centre received over 4,800 phone calls from women seeking service. It is still the case that the most dangerous place for women continues to be their own homes.
Or consider that in 2009, Canadian women reported 460,000 incidents of sexual assault in just one year (Canadian Women’s Foundation). Only 1 in 10 sexual assaults are reported to police, while the actual number of assaults is estimated to be much higher (Canadian Women’s Foundation). And these statistics are from Canada alone.
Racism and a history of oppression and colonialism have resulted in aboriginal women being disproportionately impacted by violence. According to the 2009 General Social Survey, the rate of self-reported violent victimization against Aboriginal women in the provinces was about 2.5 times higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal women. As well, aboriginal women often reported the most severe forms of violence, including being sexually assaulted, beaten, choked, or threatened with a gun or a knife (Brennan 2011). Presently, there are nearly 1,200 missing or murdered indigenous women (RCMP).
The pimping, trafficking, and sexual exploitation of women and girls is another area of violence against women that needs awareness. Despite popular belief, the majority of prostituted women are not in prostitution by choice and suffer trauma reactions at the same level as Vietnam veterans, and refugees fleeing from state-organized torture (Melissa Farley et al, 2003).
We know that women are suffering inside and outside of their homes. This suffering needs to be addressed by our community and in our country. The London Abused Women Centre provides confidential advocacy, counselling and support to abused, prostituted and sex-trafficked women to help them increase safety for themselves and their children. We also provide support to families of women who are being prostituted and sex-trafficked.
The London Abused Women’s Centre believes that together, women and men can work to end violence against women. We value your efforts in sharing the information on this issue. By raising awareness, holding abusers accountable, and empowering women and girls, we will end the war on women.
Find us on Twitter @endwomanabuse and join the conversation #endthewaronwomen