Canada, North America
Jo-Anne Dusel


Violence against women is not a women’s issue. It is an issue for all of humanity. In Canada, a country most likely to be recognized internationally for free health care, overly polite citizens or pristine wilderness, a woman is killed by her intimate partner every three days. One half of Canadian women will experience at least one incident of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. In 2009, 460,000 Canadian women reported being sexually assaulted, a number believed to be 10% of the actual number of incidents. Between 2008 and 2012, 1181 indigenous women were murdered or went missing, a rate four times greater than any other segment of the population. Amnesty International and the United Nations have both called on Canada to take action on this issue, with no success. It is time for accountability. It is time for a global approach that recognizes the intersectional nature of violence against women. It is time that women are guaranteed the basic human right to be free from violence. It is time for a binding international agreement to outlaw all forms of violence against women. In the words of Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

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