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 line at: 1-877-977-0007
This July 2022, the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) is launching the national Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC)-led campaign “More Than” right here in Manitoba, to raise awareness of gender-based violence. You may see our campaign on social media and in the Winnipeg Free Press, and we encourage all Manitobans to share the message: Violence is never okay. Everyone has the right to be safe. You are not alone.
These are just some of the many things that women do to keep themselves safe on their way back home: Not going out too late to hang out with friends or even just for a walk alone. Walking home/to the bus shelter or car park with other folks. Talking to someone on the phone while walking back home or in spaces where we feel isolated. Turning down our earphone volume or not using earphones at all in isolated public spaces. Holding out our car keys. Avoiding eye contact with strangers. Sadly, the reality is that for 2 in 5 women in Canada, even home isn’t safe. The United Nations has described gender-based violence (GBV) as a “shadow pandemic.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, GBV risks, rates and severity increased across Canada and the world.
We hope that the MAWS-WSC “More Than” campaign highlights that gender-based violence is more than just physical; it is pervasive, and can affect anyone. Some groups that already experience barriers and discrimination, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism, anti-Black racism and settler-colonial racist behaviours are more vulnerable to violence than others. Gender-based violence is an urgent public health and human rights crisis, and it’s on each of us to learn how to combat it in our homes, workplaces and communities.
If you are experiencing violence or abuse and want to talk or explore your safety options, know that you are not alone and help is available. Please don’t hesitate to call the confidential 24/7 Manitoba Family Violence Crisis & Support Line at 1-877-977-0007. Visit http://sheltersafe.ca or https://maws.mb.ca/ to find a local shelter for family/domestic violence support and more.