The following article has been contributed by Kristina Fifield (she/her) and Emma Lindala (she/her). They are members of SEIU Local 2 and work at the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kristina is the Provincial Community Coordinator and a Trauma Therapist for the Community-based Sexualized Violence Trauma Therapy Program and Emma is the Fund Development Coordinator.
We love working at Avalon because we get to work alongside individuals impacted by sexualized violence and work with community partners who are committed to eliminating sexualized violence in communities by addressing systemic injustices. We love working with such a dedicated and passionate team of trauma therapists, community navigators, SANE nurses, advocates, educators, and management.
One of the many challenges of our work is the continued gaps in services for those impacted by all forms of gendered-based violence, and the normalization and minimization of violence that impacts all parts of our communities and society. The Government of Canada’s theme for the 2022 “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence” campaign is “It’s Not Just” and how vital these conversations are for all Canadians.
The theme is a double meaning: it reminds Canadians of the injustice of gender-based violence (GBV) and brings attention to how society dismisses and minimizes attitudes and behaviors contributing to GBV. It highlights how GBV is not just a private issue, but a systemic cycle that all Canadians have a role in ending. “It’s Not Just” asks all Canadians to take action against GBV by addressing the beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate violence.
This year we are organizing Avalon’s December 6 event for The National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Gender-based Violence in partnership with the Halifax Central Library.
December 6 honours the 14 lives lost during the Montreal Massacre and those who are still impacted by gender-based violence each day. This year Avalon aims to build our shared knowledge of the violence that marginalized survivors experience and bring together key insights from survivors’ experiences, along with their recommendations for building safe communities in Nova Scotia through work Avalon completed as participants in Nova Scotia’s Public Inquiry.
We invite you to join us!
WHAT: Candlelight vigil, followed by a walk to the Halifax Central Library for guest speakers, food, and time for reflection
WHEN: December 6th at 5:30 pm
WHERE: Victoria Park, South Park St, Halifax, NS
We encourage all SEIU members to find ways to get involved in the 16 Days of Activism and encourage all SEIU members to find ways to strengthen their Collective Agreements at bargaining tables by getting additional paid domestic violence leave and adding language to include sexualized violence leave to support members who may become impacted by gender-based violence.
Thank you SEIU for sponsoring our December 6 event.
For more information, including Avalon’s upcoming events, programs, and services, follow us on social media.