July 07, 2011
Government of Canada Supports New Campaign to End Violence Against Women
VANCOUVER - The "Be More Than a Bystander" project focused on breaking the silence on violence against women was launched today at the BC Lions training facility in Surrey.
The program will break the silence surrounding violence against women and girls by providing tools, language and practical ideas about how to be more than a bystander, how to speak up and how to not allow violence and abuse to continue.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, and Mary McNeil, B.C.'s Minister of Children and Family Development, in association with Wally Buono, general manager and head coach of the BC Lions Football Club and Tracy Porteous, executive director of EVA BC (Ending Violence Association of BC), the project's lead organization.
"Our government is proud to support projects that call on all Canadians - women and men, girls and boys - to work collaboratively to end all forms of violence against women," said Minister Ambrose. "That is why we are pleased to be working with organizations like EVA BC and the BC Lions, who are committed to making a direct impact on the lives of girls and women."
"I'm very pleased to support this project that will help adults and youth understand what an important role they have in changing attitudes that allow violence against women and girls," said Minister McNeil. "Through the interactive, school-based workshops, I hope that this valuable program will really reach out to our young people, to build awareness around violence against women - and break the silence."
EVA BC and the BC Lions teamed up to create this groundbreaking three-year project aimed at helping people understand that everyone has a role in breaking the silence that surrounds violence against women. With support from the Government of Canada and B.C.'s Ministry of Children and Family Development, the two organizations will work together to develop and deliver a series of interactive workshops, training activities and a film and viewer's guide directed at youth.
This comprehensive project features professional athletes from the BC Lions Football Club appearing in radio and TV public service announcements, in the stadium on the big screen and in the game day program during BC Lions home games. And, over the next two years, players will be visiting 40 high schools and talking to students in grades 8-12 about healthy, respectful relationships and how to be more than a bystander. Workshop materials on how to talk to youth about these topics will also be created for coaches of amateur football teams.
"Violence against women is not just a women's issue, because men commit the vast majority of violence against women in society. It is also a men's issue and men need to get involved," said Buono.
A legacy educational film will also be developed and distributed to schools in the final year, coinciding with a provincewide symposium to review the progress made thus far and to consider next steps in the movement to stop violence against women and girls.
"We want to encourage an examination of the attitudes and behaviours that allow violence against women to happen in our society and provide information and tools that will help youth and adults alike break the silence," said Porteous. "We couldn't do it without our partners who also feel strongly about this cause."
The Government of Canada provided $541,900 in funding and the Ministry of Children and Family Development provided $320,000 in support of the project.