Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses

November 01, 2006 10:30 ET


WOMEN LAUNCH NEW PROVINCE-WIDE CAMPAIGN - Demand government 'Step Up' action to end violence against women

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 1, 2006) - Women from across Ontario will be launching a campaign this week to demand faster, better action on ending violence against women in Ontario. The "Step it Up!" Campaign will launch simultaneously in Toronto and Ottawa on November 2nd.

Toronto Step it Up! Launch

Thursday, November 2nd

Press conference: 10:30 a.m.
Queen's Park Media Studio, Main Legislature Building
Queen's Park, University Avenue, Toronto

Rally: 10:30 to Noon
South lawn of Queen's Park Legislature Building
University Avenue, Toronto

A display of moving T-shirts will remember the names of 236 women and 35 children murdered in Ontario since 1995.

November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario, traditionally the month when the Province of Ontario boasts of the work it is doing to provide services to women and children fleeing abuse, and perhaps to announce some new initiatives.

But women's advocates say government needs to act faster and to start taking a much broader perspective not only on what women need to escape from violence and start new lives for themselves and their children, but on how to end violence against all women.

"Governments seem bent on looking narrowly at violence against women, providing poorly funded emergency services and largely post-violence responses that are still inadequate," said Eileen Morrow, Coordinator of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, one of the groups involved in the Campaign.

"Survivors and women's advocates are saying that 'big picture' items like the way governments understand the issue, poverty, lack of housing and child care, the additional barriers for marginalized women and others are also 'woman abuse prevention' measures that need to be vastly improved, in addition to better services, if government is really interested in ending violence against women, and not just managing it."

The Campaign has a list of "10 Steps to End Violence Against Women" that Campaign organizers agree must be put in place if women are to be freed from the current epidemic of violence against them.

'Step it Up!' is the message women's advocates want the government to hear. They will be organizing across Ontario, not only in November and December, but throughout next year when political parties will be asking voters for support to become the next Ontario government.

"We'll be tracking their actions and platforms carefully this year and letting communities know what issues are important to women and children in towns and cities all over Ontario," said Erin Lee-Todd, an Ottawa area Step it Up Campaign organizer.

The Ottawa Step it Up! launch will take place at Parliament Hill at the same time as the Toronto launch. Both events will feature media conferences and rally activities, including speakers and entertainment.

The Campaign will also launch its website for the public to access information about how to support the campaign, as well as to receive Campaign materials (buttons, sticker and posters) available to individuals and groups that want to join the campaign.

Organizers of the campaign include women's shelters and rape crisis centres, women's centres, anti-poverty activists, equity-seeking groups, labour unions, community services and individual women's advocates.

/For further information: Erin Lee-Todd
Interval House Ottawa

Contact Information

  • Eileen Morrow, OAITH Coordinator
    Primary Phone: 416-977-6619