Violence can happen anywhere, at home, at school and at work, and it can take many forms. When we think of violence, we often think of physical violence. Often the affect of verbal put downs and degrading gestures are underestimated. Insults and condescending behaviour can threaten our emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being. Many people endure emotional, psychological, economic, social, physical and sexual violence in silence. Women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and LGBQT people confront systemic forms of violence almost every day of their lives. This is the harsh reality of the violence that permeates our society.
Speaking about violence can help us to identify feelings of loss and anger, and to heal from them. A day of remembrance can serve as a reminder that messages of peace and harmony can encourage us to work together to eliminate violence in our society. In each community there are examples of people who have overcome violence. Remembering our triumphs over violence will remind us that it is possible to heal from violence.
- Acknowledge and Rebuild - Connect with a bereavement group, therapist, or family service agency to share their knowledge, or sponsor a speaker to talk about the hurt and loss caused by violence. Hearing from others about their experiences of violence and loss reminds us that we are not alone. Support and help is available in many forms, through many different channels.
- Contemplate and Meditate - Arrange a gathering to focus on meditation or meditative arts like Tai Chi or Yoga.
- Memorial or Remembrance Service - Involve Faith groups and other concerned community organizations in planning a ceremony or gathering to address the suffering caused from violence, and the ways to triumph over it. Send materials to faith organizations and women's organizations with a message that can be easily shared among members, "Letter from Peterborough" for example.
- Explore Your Sensitivity - Make candles, a chain of origami cranes or any other of symbol associated with peace and harmony to explore feelings and values connected with alternatives to violence.
Looking for women’s anti-violence resources in Canada to help you plan your event or connect with a community partner? Check out our extensive list.