This post includes information about gender-based violence and sexual violence. We understand that this can trigger strong reactions and we encourage the community to connect with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre, Community Safety for support, or one of the community organizations.
December 6 is The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. U of T and the Family Care Office join communities across Canada in remembering the 14 women killed in a devastating act of misogyny at the engineering school at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989.
There are several ways to honour the victims of the December 6th tragedy: wearing a white ribbon; attending a vigil; observing a moment of silence at 11 am; and taking actions during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence from November 25-December 10.
All students, staff, faculty, librarians, and alumni are welcome to attend U of T’s tri-campus event to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6. Register for the December 6th event in advance.
U of T Supports for People Experiencing Gender-based Violence
Anybody can be abused, no matter their background, identity, or circumstance. But women, girls, and gender-diverse people are at high risk of gender-based violence. Some are at even higher risks, due to the additional discrimination and barriers they face. This includes women with disabilities, Indigenous women, racialized women, trans and non-binary people, and women who are homeless or underhoused.
(Canadian Women’s Foundation)
According to UNICEF, “gender-based violence (GBV) is the most pervasive yet least visible human rights violation in the world” (UNICEF). Sadly, one of the reasons it is least visible is because it takes place in homes, within families. Members of the U of T community who are experiencing intimate partner violence or family violence have supports available through the U of T Community Safety Office (416-978-1485). Community supports include the Assaulted Women’s helpline (416-863-0511). Supports can also be sought directly through other community organizations.
The Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre supports students, staff and faculty at the University of Toronto who have been affected by sexual violence or sexual harassment. Supports can also be sought directly through community organizations.
Employees of U of T can also reach out to the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Students can contact My Student Support Program – My SSP (1-844-451-9700; outside of North America, call 001-416-380-6578).
Supports can be sought directly through community organizations.
FLEW (Family Law Education for Women) has a variety of resources available including numerous recorded webinars on topics related to abuse, violence, separation and divorce, and more.
Family Service Toronto’s Violence Against Women program’s aim is to promote non-violence and to work towards the eventual elimination of violence against women (416-595-9618). The VAW Program assists women-identified people who have experienced abuse during the course of their lives. Abuse may have occurred in childhood, during a past relationship, or in a current relationship.
Nellie’s Shelter has a crisis line (416.461.1084) and a webpage “Need Help Fast?”
Leaves for People Experience Sexual or Domestic Violence
Those experiencing sexual or domestic violence may take a leave from employment. Leaves are also available for people whose children are experiencing violence. Everyone is entitled to, at minimum, five days of paid leave, and the leave itself can be for longer. Please check your collective agreement.