Advocacy & Policy

About the Rose Campaign

The Rose Campaign is a national advocacy campaign to end violence against women and girls. The Campaign takes its name from the original Rose button, created 22 years ago to commemorate 14 young women who were murdered at l’Ecole Polytechnique, by calling for action on violence against women and promoting strategies to stop violence in our communities.

Why December 6, 1989?

December 6 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The date is etched in history by the shooting deaths of 14 women in 1989 in Montreal by a man deliberately targeting women on a busy campus. Canadians reacted with shock, sorrow and outrage. A strong lobby formed to bring guns under control in Canada, work that continues to this day.

December 6 became the day we remember the women who died and re-commit to taking action on violence against women and girls until our streets, our campuses and our homes are safe. Because Canada is not yet a safe country for women.

Violence Against Women in Canada

Violence against women is the world’s largest and most persistent human rights violation, and Canada is no exception. Over 50% of Canadian women will experience an incident of violence at some point in their lives, the majority before they turn 25. In most cases, women know their abuser.

Violence Against Women costs over$4 billion per year including direct medical costs along with those of criminal justice, social services, and lost productivity.

In Canada:

  • Women are more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe forms of intimate partner abuse, including spousal homicide, sexual assault and stalking.
  • Young women experience the highest rates of violence and the rate of violence by boyfriends is on the rise.
  • Almost 40% of women in Canada who reported assault by an intimate partner said their children witnessed the violence and in many cases the violence was severe.
  • In half of the cases of intimate partner violence against women that were witnessed by children, the woman feared for her life.
  • The devastating count of missing and murdered Aboriginal women points to a deep-seated gendered and racialized violence in our culture.

What you can do to Take Action on Violence Against Women:

  • Wear the Rose button
  • Speak up about violence in your community
  • Encourage people who commit violence to get help
  • Raise children who can resolve conflict without violence
  • Make sure your home, workplace and community are safe for women and girls
  • Speak out against negative media images of women and girls
  • Promote women's economic and political equality
  • Support organizations that work to end violence against women
  • Donate your time and support the cause
  • Remember
  • Order Rose buttons for resale to support your local women’s shelter and support services centre

Our commitment

As part of our commitment to end violence against women and children, YWCA Canada has been the national distributor of the Rose Button since 1991. To date, YWCA Canada has distributed over 450,000 Rose Buttons to schools, shelters, social and government agencies, socially responsible corporations and individuals across Canada.

Want to show your support?

Take action on violence against women by making Rose Buttons available to your employees, clients, community partners and stakeholders. The Rose Button Campaign is a great fundraising opportunity for groups and organizations that support anti-violence programs and services. Purchase the buttons for 50 cents each and sell them for $1.00 or more.

Want to place an order?

To place an order, visit the Online Mall. For further information, you can also contact YWCA Canada at:

Tel: 416-962-8881
Fax: 416-962-8084