High Schoolers Reflect on 'the smallest steps'

As part of 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence this year, a high school screened our film. The student reflections they shared back with us really demonstrate the importance of teaching students about gender-based violence and the history of anti-violence activism in Canada!

Here are a few of the student thoughts that were shared with us:

“It’s heartbreaking to find out that the most dangerous place for a woman around the world is her own home, and that you’re most likely to be hurt by those close to you. I also had never heard about the polytechnique shooting, and now I’m finding out it’s one of the biggest massacres in recent North American history. How could I have never heard of this? It just goes to show we don’t spend enough time talking about these issues. I think the most important small step to take is to share. Share information on these issues to those around you who are more ignorant to the topic.”
“What surprised me is that 63% of Indigenous women are sexually assaulted compared to 43% of non-Indigenous women. This is very sad because this is a very high number and it is more likely that by being an Indigenous woman increases the risk of being sexually assaulted compared to the non-Indigenous women. One small step I could make is by informing others about gender-based violence to spread awareness. If I could recommend a group of people to watch this film it would be young men because the violence is happening to women by men.”
I found it to be very uplifting to see so many women united and fighting serious causes. However, the bittersweet aspect of it is how in all of the clips they were fighting the exact same issues that women are fighting today. Decades later, women are still suffering from domestic abuse, reproductive rights, and lots of issues regarding their own education and employment. It’s sad to see that over the course of so many years there has been so little progression from a legal perspective. However, it is inspiring to see that women haven’t given up and are still willing to dedicate so much time, money, and effort to creating a safer country for everybody.”
“Something that surprised me right off the bat was the statistics regarding how many Canadian women are killed every day. Although I was fairly aware of the killing and abuse of women globally, I wasn’t aware that in our country it was so bad….Whilst I was well aware that Indigenous women are by far the worst affected by gender-based violence, some of the stats were still jarring….They are constantly facing murders, abductions, rape, human trafficking, and overall genocide. I believe it’s important for others to hear statistics like these in order to gain a more realistic and in-depth understanding of the topic. The idea that women are abused is well known. However, it’s something that many men or people just don’t care about, and I often think that’s just because they don’t have a genuine understanding of how intense the issue really is.”
“I think that the Canadian government has started off on the right foot for reparations about what has been done to Indigenous people, but there is more that must be done because clearly there isn’t enough being done. I think that the government has to continue to pay back their mistakes, and that we as people should continue to learn about their culture and overall we have to try our hardest to make it right.
“…A statistic that shocked me was that “137 women across the world are killed by a partner or family member every day”. I had no idea that the most likely place for a woman to be killed is at home. I learned that there are many places in Ottawa for women in need of help. I also learned that there are so many powerful women in my own city that have been working so hard to end and bring awareness to violence against women. A small step that I could make toward the cause is to continue to inform myself and broaden my knowledge on the subject….”