24/7 provincial toll-free crisis line 18779770007

  • Manitoba Association of Women's Shelters

MAWS provides information only. If you are in danger call 911. If you or someone you know is being abused, call the confidential 24/7 provincial toll-free crisis & support line at: 1-877-977-0007

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence: MAWS Campaign Launch!

From November 25 to December 10, MAWS will be participating in the international “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).”

The 16 Days campaign is a global effort to increase public education about one of the most devastating human rights crises of our time and build communities of support for survivors of violence.

GBV affects ALL of us. It exists in our homes, in our communities, in our work places – everywhere. Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. (Statistics Canada). GBV costs lives.

Over the next 16 days, MAWS will be sharing an action a day on this website page and on our social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter) that each of us can perform throughout the year to do our part to combat GBV.

To raise awareness of GBV, we’re also hosting a Giveaway Contest on our Instagram: we’re giving away books by internationally acclaimed writers who have shone a light on inequity, abuse & intergenerational trauma.

We’d like to thank McNally Robinson for supporting our 16 Days campaign & providing us the books for the contest!

Manitobans who participate can win one of these books: 

  • Michelle Good: “Five Little Indians”
  • Alicia Elliot: “A Mind Spread Out On The Ground”
  • Miriam Toews: “Women Talking”
  • Margo Goodhand: “Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists – The Origins of the Women’s Shelter Movement in Canada”
  • Vivek Shraya: “I’m Afraid of Men”
  • Dr. Gabor Maté, Daniel Maté: “The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture”

To participate, here’s what you have to do:

(a) Share our “16 Days of Activism” content; (b) Follow our page @maws_mb; (c) Tag 3 friends; (d) a winner will be picked at random!

We will announce the winners of our giveaway contest on Dec 10, Human Rights Day!

It’s on each of us to end this crisis. Come participate in this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against GBV with MAWS — and help us build safer communities for everyone in Manitoba, through education and awareness, allyship and advocacy.

Our Actions for each of the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV: 

Day 1: November 25, 2022

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It is also the start of the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). GBV is one of the most urgent human rights crises facing us today.  Today’s action: Believe Survivors
It takes great courage for survivors to disclose experiences of violence or assault. Sexual assault, harassment and abuse can happen anywhere and to anyone, and predators often use their power and influence to control and inflict abuse on those in positions of less power and equality than them. Abusers can threaten survivors with legal, physical and social repercussions to themselves and/or loved ones and pets, and fear of these repercussions, as well as the stigma around abuse, often prevents survivors from speaking out.

Here are some first steps on how to support those affected by GBV:
• Believe survivors. Show them that they’re believed, and treat them with respect and dignity. Make eye contact. Your job is to support them. Make sure you are not putting your assumptions, anger, shock, sadness, or fear first in the conversation.
• Listen actively with compassion, WITHOUT JUDGMENT, and let them lead. Instead of telling them what you would do or what they should do, ask them how you can best support them.
• Don’t rush survivors while they are sharing their story.
• Provide information about available support options, such as counselling.
• If they are looking to get medical help, counselling or seeking to report the violence to the police, support them on their journey.
• Remember that everyone copes with violence differently. They may do things differently than you. That is okay. Be there to support them as they explore what works for them.

Day 2: November 26, 2022

Today’s action: Have a conversation.
Abuse thrives in silence. Let’s break that silence and stigma by having open and honest conversations with each other about the various forms of violence and abuse, and how we can support survivors in respectful, compassionate ways. Whenever and wherever you see an opportunity to do so safely, challenge gender inequality, misogyny, racism, and other forms of discrimination, which compound GBV.
Day 3: November 27, 2022
Today’s Action: Self education.
Learn about trauma-informed practices to support those affected by GBV. The MAWS website has a number of virtual courses that you can take to learn more about GBV and how to support survivors and victims of abuse in a way that centers their human rights, their experiences, courage, and dignity.
What is Trauma-Informed Care? The MAWS “Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care” course states that “Trauma-informed care is a way to approach people that embraces and recognizes the importance of treating the whole person; taking into account their past trauma and the resulting coping mechanisms/ behaviors they have developed. Trauma-informed care recognizes that trauma has an impact on people and can be a contributor to mental health challenges, illness, and substance use” (TIP, 2014).
It’s on each of us to help reduce GBV in our communities. Self-education is an important action we can easily take every single day to increase our own awareness of violence prevention, and become active in our allyship.
You can view all available MAWS courses here: https://maws.mb.ca/courses-available-now/
Email for more information on how to access the training.
Day 4: November 28, 2022
Today’s action: Know What Abuse Can Look Like.
Gender-based violence (GBV) and abuse can be more than physical; they can manifest in a variety of ways, including spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and emotional abuse. Knowing the various forms of abuse can help us identify violence when we see it and offer support to survivors.
Day 5: November 29, 2022
Today’s action:Share the Manitoba 24/7 Toll-free Family Violence Crisis & Support Line: 1-877-977-0007.
Everyone has the right to be safe. If you or someone you know is feeling unsafe, experiencing abuse, needs help with safety planning or wants to know what resources are available, please don’t hesitate to call the provincial Family Violence Crisis & Support Line: 1-877-977-0007.
Day 6: November 30, 2022 
Today’s Action: Know the Facts about GBV.
According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory of Justice & Accountability, in the first six months of 2022 alone, 88 women & girls were killed by violence. In 2021, 173 women and girls were killed by violence, mostly by male partners. In 2020, 160 women and girls were killed by violence. Manitoba has some of the highest rates of GBV in Canada.
GBV exists in all our spaces and is more rampant and pervasive that we may realize. These facts are a stark reminder of that. We have to break the silence and stigma that allow violence to thrive, once and for all. We have to commit to believing survivors, to providing support in trauma-informed ways that center their voices, experiences. And we have to step up as bystanders and allies, whenever and wherever we see or hear GBV, misogyny, and discrimination.
Day 7: December 1, 2022
Today’s action: Donate to your local Family Violence (FV) shelter or agency.
Manitoba FV shelters and agencies offer more than just safe, emergency spaces for those seeking refuge from abuse. They also offer services such as one-to-one and group counselling, referral services to other community supports, children’s support and counselling, advocacy, and early intervention and prevention services.
FV shelters and agencies have been faced with countless challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. They rely more than ever on the generosity of community donors. Your donations will help your local FV shelter or agency to continue providing uninterrupted services to survivors and victims of violence. You can find a list of provincial FV shelters and agencies here: https://maws.mb.ca/about/members-affiliate-members/
Day 8: December 2, 2022 
Today’s Action: Volunteer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GBV prevention organizations have been experiencing staffing challenges. They need support, not just for daily operations, but at events, for research initiatives, and the various community-based projects they’re involved in. Take the opportunity during these 16 Days of Activism to contact your local family violence shelter/agency or women’s resource centres to see how you can make a difference.
Day 9: December 3, 2022
Today’s Action: Support MAWS.
The Manitoba Assoc. of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) provides support, information, advocacy services and training to provincial family violence shelters & agencies. Our organization is small but we are deeply committed to centering the voices of survivors in community-based solutions to end GBV. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked relentlessly to ensure that Manitoba FV organizations have the resources they need to provide uninterrupted services for those seeking refuge from violence. Your support will help us to continue our work to help FV organizations and support survivors and victims of GBV.
Learn more about our work here: https://maws.mb.ca/
Click here to donate to MAWS: https://maws.mb.ca/helping-others/donate/
Day 10: December 4, 2022
Today’s Action: Support aligned social sector organizations and non-profits.
Gender-based violence and abuse can often intersect with many other experiences, such as precarious housing, unstable employment, legal concerns, lack of childcare, mental illness, and substance use dependence. Further, some groups are disproportionately affected by GBV and experience greater barriers to care, because of the systemic discrimination, racism and violence they face in society. These groups include: Indigenous women and girls; 2SLBTQQIA folks; immigrant, newcomer and refugee women; racialized women and girls.
Social support organizations provide invaluable services and care to vulnerable folks. Visit their websites and social media to learn more about their work and how you can support them.
Day 11: December 5, 2022 
Today’s Action: Share Our Messages.
Follow us and your local family violence shelters, agencies, and women’s resource centres to access the information we post on GBV prevention and trauma-informed practices. Share the information in your online and offline spaces – this will help anti-violence organizations reach more folks and raise awareness on GBV prevention, how to support survivors in trauma-informed ways, and Manitoba resources for those affected by violence and abuse.
Day 12: December 6, 2022 
Today’s Action: Sign up for Gender-based violence awareness and prevention events.
Educating ourselves is one of the first steps we can take towards reducing GBV. Local family violence shelters and agencies, resource centres, and community empowerment groups that support folks who experience GBV frequently host awareness events, webinars, and panels featuring advocates doing invaluable anti-violence work in our communities. Contact your local social support and anti-violence organizations, and show your support by signing up for their events!
Day 13: December 7, 2022 
Today’s Action: Promote Gender-based violence Awareness and prevention in the workplace.
Workplace harassment affects nearly 70% of Canadian employees, and women tend to be disproportionately affected by abusive environments and behaviours, which include verbal abuse and humiliating behaviour. Indigenous women and girls are more likely to face violence than any other women in Canada, and their experiences of violence are compounded by settler-colonial racism.*
Education is one of the first steps we can take towards preventing GBV & supporting survivors and victims of abuse. Talk to your organization/employers about the importance of setting up workplace harassment & abuse prevention trainings. MAWS can also provide free content on violence prevention and community resources. Email us at if you would like some posters and brochures on GBV prevention for your workplace.
Statistics Canada, 2018: http://bit.ly/3Bffw3G
CBC News “Workplace harassment and violence impacts over 70% of employees in Canada, study shows”: http://bit.ly/3YicQw7
Canadian Women’s Foundation Facts about GBV: http://bit.ly/3hezeWd
Day 14: December 8, 2022 
Today’s action: Become a MAWS Member if you are a GBV service provider or become an associate member if you are an organization that works in an aligned social sector.
MAWS is committed to providing a unified voice for those affected by GBV. We provide training, information & advocacy services to organizations that support those affected by GBV.
We know that global events like pandemics can set equality-related progress back by decades. This is unacceptable. Now more than ever, we need to continue advocating with and for each other. Join us in our work towards systemic change and a world free of violence.
If your organization does work in the anti-violence sector or in an aligned sector, such as support for those experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and substance use dependence, a MAWS membership will get your organization access to our many online courses, as well as our support and advocacy services. Contact us at to learn more about membership options.
Follow this link to learn more about our advocacy, our systems change work, and awareness campaigns: https://maws.mb.ca/
Day 15: December 9, 2022 
Today’s Action: Contact your local media publication or community newspaper.
Language matters. The words we use become the basis for our individual and collective perceptions and actions, which become the basis for our policies, laws, and larger systemic behaviours. The language we use to talk about gender-based violence (GBV) is critical to how everyone in our communities perceives GBV and those affected by violence. GBV is NEVER the fault of the survivor or victim of violence; yet, victim-blaming and -shaming myths abound in our society. Every time any of us uses victim-blaming or victim-shaming language, we perpetuate a larger culture of violence.
It’s imperative that we use human rights- and survivor-centred language that is respectful, trauma-informed and non-judgmental. The language used in news reports, media and pop culture about abuse, harassment, sexual and gender-based violence frequently perpetuates victim-blaming myths and misrepresentations about GBV, trauma, and survivors of abuse. This is extremely harmful, and adds great risk of further violence and trauma to the lives of survivors and victims of abuse. Each of us has a responsibility to call out misogynistic and discriminatory language, wherever and whenever we see or hear it. It’s on us to help build safer communities for all.
Day 16: December 10, 2022 
Today’s Action: Contact your local elected representative. In fact, all of us should engage in GBV prevention advocacy and outreach to community and elected leaders/representatives throughout the year.
Write to your local elected representatives at all three levels of government to ask about what the municipal, province and federal governments are doing to end gender-based violence in Manitoba communities and support survivors and victims of abuse. When we raise our voices together in support of safety, equality, and social equity, we create stronger, healthier and more just communities.
Our 16 Days Of Activism Campaign Wrap-up: 
We’d like to thank all those who followed our #16DaysOfActivism against GBV campaign this year. We hope that folks will find ways to apply our suggestions for “actions” posted during the 16 Days throughout the weeks ahead, and in the new year.
As we head into the holiday season, we are mindful that home is not the safest place for everyone. While the holidays can be a joyful time for many folks, they may not be the safest time for all. Manitoba family violence shelters will be working to provide uninterrupted services to anyone in need of refuge from violence. If you or anyone you know is feeling unsafe/experiencing abuse, and wants to talk/explore options for your safety, please don’t hesitate to call the provincial toll-free 24/7 Family Violence Crisis & Support Line: 1-877-977-0007
Gender-Based Violence is an urgent human rights crisis, and one of the few crimes whose rates are continually on the rise in Canada, and around the world. We HAVE to believe survivors, and we have to work together and raise our voices to break the silence that enables abuse. It’s on us.