If there’s one thing I know for sure about being a girl, it’s that it isn’t easy. Having recently survived my teenage years, I can attest to the fact that girls today face a distinct set of challenges that are associated with their sex. Discrimination based on gender, unequal access to opportunities, a lack of positive role models, and feelings of inadequacy are just some of the issues that girls deal with on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, girls and women in Canada are very likely to be dealing with much more than just these common barriers. The terrible reality is that 1 in 2 Canadian women will be sexually or physically abused in her lifetime. That’s 50% of all girls and women.
This is why theÂ Canadian Women’s FoundationÂ has released a new PSA campaign to raise awareness surrounding the issue of violence against women. With Canadian girls and women experiencing physical and sexual abuse at such astronomical rates, it is absolutely essential to work towards prevention. The campaign, which launched this July, is entitled “It’s A Girl”. The ads present the grim reality of the risk of abuse facing women and girls in Canada, against a backdrop of the joy filled moments of having a baby girl. It is an effective juxtaposition that brings attention to the fact that many girls and women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.Â Watch the PSA
Quick facts about violence against women in Canada:
- In just one year in Canada, 427,000 women over the age of 15 reported that they had been sexually assaulted. Since only about 10% of all sexual assaults are reported to police, the actual number is much higher.
- Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
- 61% of all Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
Violence against women happens in all cultures and religions, in all ethnic and racial communities, at every age, and in every income group. However, some women are especially at risk:
- Aboriginal women (First Nations, Inuit and Metis) are more than eight times more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than non-Aboriginal women.
- Young women are especially at risk. 66% of all female victims of sexual assault are under the age of twenty-four, and 11% are under the age of eleven. Women aged 15 to 24 are killed at nearly three times the rate for all female victims of domestic homicide.
- 60% of women with a disability experience some form of violence.
- Immigrant women may be more vulnerable to domestic violence due to economic dependence, language barriers, and a lack of knowledge about community resources.
BC Council for Families
byÂ Cara Hykawy
Young Parent Outreach is a dynamic resource program providing services and support to young pregnant women, young moms and dads, and their children in the Greater Victoria area.
These servicesÂ – provided by The Cridge Centre for the Family – are designed to give young pregnant women and young moms and dads the help and support network they need to have healthy babies and to be effective, successful parents. Whether it’s housing, income assistance, food back or dealing with child custody or substance abuse, The Cridge Young Parent Outreach program can help.