SAULT STE. MARIE – The Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie is launching a social media campaign to highlight the issue of gender-based violence. It’s part of an international campaign aimed at ending violence against women and girls.
At a flag-raising ceremony at Women in Crisis Algoma, a bell tolled 35 times – once for each of the women reported by the Ontario Association of Transition and Interval Homes to have been killed by a male in the province. It was with this that the local Zonta Club began its “No To Violence Against Women” annual campaign.
“All those women were loved by someone,” says Jane Vienneau, Chair of the Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie.
“They were the mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts. And we want to put names to those women so that people recognize that this has happened.”
Erin Lodge, Communications and Administration Coordinator for Women In Crisis Algoma, says it’s important for society not to remain silent on gender-based violence.
“The more people stand up and are willing to be confrontational in those moments, the more we’ll change what society deems acceptable in how they speak to and treat and think about women and girls,” she says.
Sarah Paciocco, a Sexual Assault/Abuse Crisis Counsellor, says there are some signs to watch out for if a woman is experiencing abuse at the hands of a partner.
“It might be things like they’re not allowed to go out with their friends,” she says. “Their partner might tell them who they can hang out with. They might be calling them constantly when they’re out – ‘where are you? When are you coming back?’ They might see them treating their partner really poorly when they go out somewhere.
From Nov.25 to Dec.10, the Sault Zonta Club and Women In Crisis will be drawing attention to gender-based violence by way of daily social media posts as part of Zonta’s “16 Days of Activism” campaign.