Anti.Violence.Project @ UVic
Ending Gender Based Violence – Prevention.Support.Action
The Anti.Violence.Project (AVP) is committed to addressing and ending gender-based violence on campus and beyond.
We strive to provide anti-oppressive and sex-positive services, advocacy and action on-campus and off to people of all genders, in partnership and collaboration, in order to address and resist gender-based and all forms of violence.
For Immediate Release
Re: Anti.Violence.Project Fundraiser and Dance for PEERS Victoria
Date: Friday, February 28th, 2014 @ 7:30pm
Location: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street
Cost: $5-$15 (sliding scale) available at the door on the night of the event and in advance at the Women’s Studies office (CLE B111) as well as AVP office (SUB B027) in the Student Union Building at UVic.
Outline: Due to funding cuts, PEERS Victoria Resource Society has had to close their Drop-in Center, eliminating a major support for the 450+ individuals who use the facilities. PEERS is a non-profit society dedicated to the empowerment, education, and support of sex workers. While the drop-in center is now only open for a couple of hours one day a week, its Elements program remains suspended.
We are pleased to announce that Women’s Studies Equity and Outreach Committee, The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) and UVic Pride have partnered up to put on an extravagant fundraising event. This will be a hoot-hollerin’ good time and a crucial event for supporting PEERS staff and clients.
7:30-9 (All Ages):
AVP is facilitating a raffle with awesome prizes (seriously- things you will want like restaurant gift cards, free haircuts, coffee shop gift cards, etc.) Entertainment will be simultaneously occurring (ask if you are interested in contributing a performance to this portion!). Free food will be provided and drinks will be sold (with profits benefiting PEERS).
9:30 PM-1am: Dance Party!!! (19+)
The floor will be cleared for everyone to get groovy!
Remember, drink sales will benefit the fundraiser and Annalee Lepp will be facilitating a 50/50 money raffle.
For more information on how PEERS provides support for healing, education, safety, liaison with the police, crisis response, trauma recovery, addictions resources, housing assistance, and belonging for all sex workers in our community please visit http://safersexwork.ca/.
Mon. 6th: No Support
Tues. 7th: 11:30am to 2:30pm
Wed. 8th: 11:30am to 1:30pm
Thur. 9th: No Support
Fri. 10th: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
CALL / EMAIL/ DROP BY for SUPPORT
SUPPORT HOURS POSTED VARY WEEKLY AND ARE POSTED ON WEBSITE AND DOOR
PEERS Victoria Resource Society
1-744 Fairview Road
Contact: Tracie Fawkes
Contact: Marion Little, Executive Director PEERS
Tel: 250.388.5325 ext. 104
DEC. 17 SEX WORKERS AND THEIR ALLIES MARCH TO END VIOLENCE
Join sex workers and their family, friends, and supporters in a candlelight march to say violence against sex workers must stop now! Together, we will stand for autonomy, dignity, and the freedom to work in safety with equal access to justice. The event is organized by sex workers and allies as well as by PEERS and the UVSS Women’s Centre. It will start at the Legislative Grounds at 6:00pm on December 17 and we will march to AIDS Vancouver Island on 715 Johnson Street. A broad swath of Victoria’s community has participated in this event every year for the last 6 years in rain, sun, and snow.
December 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, also known as the Red Umbrella Day. On this day, we are calling for an end to discriminatory laws, policing, and social attitudes that increase exposure to many forms of violence and prevent sex workers from reporting violence and discrimination. The laws intersect with sexism, racism, and classism to perpetuate social stigma and create a cultural environment in which the violence perpetrated upon sex workers of all genders is seen as different from the violence perpetrated against others. It is urgent that sex workers have access to safe working conditions, legal recourse, health services, and “all human rights and civil liberties” (World Charter for Prostitutes’ Rights).
At this vibrant event, we will both honour the lives lost and celebrate our vital movement. The red umbrella is an international symbol of sex workers rights, please WEAR RED and bring your red umbrella to the rally and be a part of the movement!
This year marks the 24th Anniversary of the shooting at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal. For those unfamiliar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole_Polytechnique_massacre
This event triggered a national outcry and broke silence surrounding some of the types of violence perpetrated against women. Many mainstream discourses were challenged and Lépine’s actions began to be talked about as a result of systemic sexism, as opposed to the work of someone “deranged”; a discourse that demonizes the person committing the act, enabling the underlying causes to remain invisible and thereby keeping the power (i.e., patriarchy) that fuelled it, intact.
Last year I did my undergraduate thesis on the ability of Post-Secondary education to transform the self-narratives of working class female-identified people. I talked to other folks who felt like their education actually enabled them to talk about themselves differently, and what this might mean for their identity. Each interview brought a new voice and a particular experience that belonged solely to the person speaking. At the same time, because of some of our shared identities, I felt profoundly affected by the experiences of the women I talked to. I could see myself in some (but most definitely not all) of their stories. Through my thesis work I began to explicitly understand the importance of stories. They are how we come to know our world and they determine how we are situated within it.
The reason I chose to write something about the annual memorialization of those who were killed twenty-four years ago rests in how I am able to see bodies that look like mine remembered and honoured each year, when the story of Polytechnique is told. My whiteness, my education, and the ways that my gender is most often read are privileges that I share with the women who were murdered that day. Each year when this event takes place I’m told that bodies like mine matter and that they’re worth protecting, but living with a feminist lens is a constant negotiation that pushes, pulls, empowers, and demeans. It fights violence and it can perpetuate it, and when I’m faced with events such as this, that work within the framework of what many call feminism, I can’t help but stand there and say “Yeah, but…”
So yeah, this event is important and has done more than I probably understand to further action against gender-based violence, but what about the stories that aren’t told at these events? What about the bodies that aren’t and will continue to not be protected, or honoured, or remembered? I can’t sit here and say I’m fighting violence against “women” when bodies, no matter what or how many characteristics they may have in common, do not have a shared experience and face violence in different ways and in varying degrees.
When at least six hundred Indigenous women in Canada have gone missing or been murdered since 1990 and the people responsible have no names and no faces, it becomes difficult to tell myself this event has been made for them. When state statistics about marginalized communities are used in mainstream discourse, how does this event empower those within them to challenge the violence perpetuated by the state in these communities in the first place? When women have to choose between protection against domestic violence and protection against deportation, in what way is the memorialization of bodies like mine helping them? When, fuelled by racism and privilege, women are committing acts of violence against other women, how are we supposed to heal together?
I often see December 6th events enacted by telling a story, and as I begin to become more conscious of the ways that stories can determine representation I suppose I just want to say how important I’m finding it to attend and contribute to events that value and make space for the stories of those who are not represented in the story of the “Montreal Massacre”. Part of recognizing privilege is stepping down and acknowledging all that I, and everyone else, can learn from those who occupy identities that experience violence in ways that are often silenced by the most powerful institutions in our society.
**If interested, an event is happening TONIGHT to remember, honour and listen to many people affected by gender based violence:
“Ending Gender Violence: Poetry and Other Performances”
Date: TONIGHT Friday, December 6
Time: 5 – 8 PM
Location: Victoria Multicultural Centre, 1415 Broad Street, Coast Salish Territories
Liza is a community member volunteer at the Anti Violence Project.