Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 Montreal Massacre. This incident, while extreme, reminds us gender-based violence continues in Canada and around the world.
NIC’s Faculty Association and the North Island Students’ Union are co-hosting the events to remember victims and to start a proactive discussion on eliminating all forms of violence.
The day’s events begin at noon with a drop-in discussion in the Tyee Lounge, aimed at teaching others to recognize signs of violence and will provide resources to stand up to it. Organizers will share a video selection created by the Ending Violence Association of BC and will share practical tips on how to “be more than a bystander.”
“Everyone is welcome, so stop by for coffee or tea and take the pledge to be more than a bystander,” said Yiling Chow, NIC’s Faculty Association Status of Women Committee Chair and one of the event organizers. “We will discuss ways to be an upstander, a person who takes action particularly when the easiest or often acceptable course is to do nothing.”
At 4:30 pm, students, staff and community members will gather in the Stan Hagen Theatre for a free screening of The Hunting Ground. Stasia Hasumi, Housing Outreach worker for the Comox Valley Transition Society will share a few words before the movie. The Emmy award-nominated documentary is an exposé of rape culture at American college campuses.
While the movie is based on American campus culture, Nancy Twynam, NIC’s Associate Director, Student Affairs says it is important for Canadian campuses to pay attention.
She emphasizes NIC’s year-round commitment to awareness and prevention. “Our goal is to create a safe, inclusive campus environment, free from all forms of violence,” she said. “NIC is committed to supporting students and staff through our Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy and ensuring this priority is clear across all campuses.”
Students who have experienced or witnessed sexual violence and/or misconduct can contact NIC’s professionally trained counsellors for support. Employees should contact Human Resources. Services are confidential, free and provided in a supportive and inclusive space. “If you notice suspicious activity or are worried for your personal safety or the safety of others, seek help,” Twynam said. “Most importantly, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.”
For more information on December 6 events, contact North Island Students’ Union representative Carissa Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on services and resources available to students and staff, visit https://www.nic.bc.ca/student-life-support-services/student-wellness/sexual-violence-misconduct-support/.