Today marks the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
As it is also still Domestic Violence Awareness month, we thought we would start by sharing the latest figures on domestic violence in Nova Scotia. The NS Advisory Council on the Status of Women released the infographic below a year ago, using statistics from 2019. It shows that:
These numbers all pre-date the Covid-19 pandemic, which, as we know by now, has cut off many folks who have been subjected to domestic violence from their supports and also forced them to lockdown at times with their abusive partners.
It is #NationalAddictionAwarenessWeek. Something that we can all do to lessen the stigma against addiction in our society, is to take more care in the way we talk about and think about addiction. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use says "Stigma is a significant barrier to wellness and good health for people who use substances." To learn more about why that is and how you might lead with compassion in this area, check out their quick primer.
Content Warning/Trigger Warning: This post contains discussion of suicide and violence against Transgender People. Please read on with care.
November 13-20 is Transgender Awareness week, which culminates in the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20. The TDR is a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.
According to Stats Canada findings in 2018,
This 'Beginner's Guide' from the Ryerson Centre for Women and Trans People is a good place to start:
We would also like to share:
Number to Know : Trans Lifeline's Canadian number: 1-877-330-6366. Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support and is run by and for trans people.
Finally, because we can't say it enough: Second Story Women's Centre's feminism is trans-inclusive. We serve women and gender-oppressed people in Lunenburg and Queens Counties.
Today for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we want to highlight some of the ways that money and finances come into play when it comes to domestic violence. The physical and emotional costs of domestic violence are fairly well known, but what about the financial implications of domestic violence for victims and society at large? Or the fact that financial control is often a tool of the abuser and a barrier to the victim's ability to leave the abusive situation? And we'd like to remind you of some of the financial supports that are available to Nova Scotians who have been subject to DV...
According to the Canadian Department of Justice in 2009, the economic impact of Domestic Violence is about $7.4 billion per year. That estimate (which was considered at the time to be a conservative guess and is now 12 years old) included costs such as medical attention, lost wages, lost education, the value of stolen/damaged property, and pain and suffering (and sometimes loss of life) on the part of the victims, as well as social service operation costs, losses to employers, the negative impact on children exposed to spousal violence, and other government costs.
As you can see, it can be incredibly costly for people who have been subjected to domestic violence to leave the situation. A reminder that Second Story is able to assist women and female-identifying Nova Scotians in Lunenburg and Queens Counties who need financial assistance to leave a domestic violence situation to access YWCA Halifax's December 6th Fund. The December 6th fund provides non-interest bearing microloans of up to $500 for housing-related costs (damage deposit, rent, power payments/arrears, moving or storage costs, and phone/internet payments). The loan repayment schedule is flexible, affordable and based on an individual's situation. More info is HERE, or you can reach out to the Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org / 902-640-3044 to learn more or start the process.
Donate to Second Story in November and win a two-night stay at a gorgeous Lunenburg County AirBnB cottage!
Thanks to an anonymous donor, anyone who makes a financial donation to Second Story during the month of November 2021 will be entered into a draw for a two-night stay at a gorgeous Lunenburg County Air BnB cottage!
The funds she raised are much appreciated. SSWC needs to raise $40-$50,000 per year just to stay open and often relies on the generous support of those who live in our surrounding areas. SSWC's Executive Director, Rhonda, says that serving hundreds of women, girls and other people who are gender-oppressed is resource-heavy.
“Fundraising is incredibly time consuming and whenever community steps up and helps out, that allows us to focus on our core work and support those who work with us,” Rhonda said. “This last year, even during a pandemic, we offered close to 1500 appointments in one year. This was in fact our busiest year ever.”
Rhonda added that the pandemic has increased the complexity of their work. “Violence in our community has increased, isolation has not been kind to some, traffickers continue to prey on people in our community and housing is sometimes impossible to find. These are just some of the things people are bringing as issues to SSWC.” But, Rhonda concluded, during these challenging times, meeting a ray of light like Liessa sparks energy in the SSWC staff.
We are so blown away by the generosity of folks in our community. There are several folks who are raising funds for Second Story this month...
Laura of Meguma Meadows Flower Farm is donating 30% of this week's online wreath sales to Second Story Women's Centre!
"And so begins, wreath season! We'll start with the everlasting florals then onto evergreens, berries, cones and all the festive holiday stuff.
Wreath season coincides with the season of giving and this week to kick things off I want to raise some funds for the amazing Second Story Women's Centre!
The Second Story Women's Center has a fundraising goal of $50,000 each year and their impact throughout our community is massive. They provide free counseling, compassion, and many other resources uniquely for women and gender oppressed people throughout Lunenburg and Queen's counties.
I believe empowered women are the backbone of healthy, vibrant communities. Second Story does SO much challenging support work behind the scenes. Work that affects all of us.
This week until Monday, November 15th, 30% of ALL wreath sales will be donated to the center! You can do this through our website.
Simply find the style and price point you like, and add a note indicating any color or design preferences. There is a 5$ delivery fee and your order will arrive to your door. Shipping outside of Lunenburg County is not currently enabled so contact us if you would like to arrange it."
Laura's work is truly stunning and we are so appreciative that she has chosen to support Second Story during the Giving Season. Check out Laura's work at megumameadows.com/shop!
...And the kind folks over at Lunenburg Consignment are still selling jewellery with some of the proceeds coming to Second Story! Thank you to everyone for your support!
November is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Although violence within intimate partnerships can happen to anyone of any gender identity, stats show that women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans, and non-binary people experience much higher rates (nearly double) of violence than men. Nearly 80% of those reporting intimate partner violence to police are women. Sixty-seven per cent of people who experience family violence are women and girls. (Shana Conroy, Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics, 2021).
According to the Canadian Women's Foundation:
We will be sharing information and resources all month on our channels about domestic violence and its effects. Check back to learn more.