Peterborough 74th municipality in Ontario to declare gender-based violence an epidemic

An example of one of the upcoming events for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence
Event poster for 'It Happens Here,' on Thursday, Dec. 7.
Edward Sweeney - CFFF - PeterboroughON | 06-12-2023
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On Nov. 27 a motion was brought to Peterborough City Council to declare gender-based violence an epidemic, led by Coun. Joy Lachica.

“I think it is a real achievement that this has been acknowledged by our council, and endorsed unanimously,” says Lachica.

This makes Peterborough the 74th municipality in Ontario to declare gender-based violence an epidemic, and to follow the recommendations of the 2022 Renfrew Inquest.

Sarah Bass, manager of Fundraising and Communications with Peterborough Domestic Abuse Network (PDAN), was involved with organizing the delegation to Peterborough City Council. Bass, along with other community organizations like the YWCA and Kawartha Sexual Assault Center, has been collecting statistics that reinforce the severity of gender-based violence in our community.

This issue is also being addressed at the provincial level: As of Nov. 15, the Province of Ontario has entered into a bilateral agreement with the federal government to end gender-based violence. According to the government of Canada’s website, the “federal government will be investing $162 million over four years to support the implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence in Ontario.”

This delegation marked the beginning of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence in Canada, but there are more events happing in Peterborough throughout the 16 days.

There is a vigil outside City Hall on Dec. 6 for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a day to remember those killed at the École Polytechnique massacre on Dec. 6, 1989.

Then, on Dec. 7, an event called “It Happens Here” will be held at Market Hall Performing Arts Center to raise awareness.

“These are conversations about domestic violence in our community. This is an opportunity for people to come and listen. We will have speakers who are local experts; both representing organizations, who work directly with survivors, and we also have survivors who will be speaking,” says Bass, who is also organizing these events.

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