At YWCA Cambridge, we operate from an intersectional, anti-oppressive, feminist lens and doing that requires constant re-evaluation of our policies, practices and programming to ensure we’re engaging with, and advocating for, communities and participants in the most equitable and just way we know how to.
We made the decision, just like other organizations who also host Walk A Mile campaigns, to change the name from Walk A Mile in Her Shoes to Walk A Mile in Their Shoes. We have done this because we recognize that gender-based violence does not only impact women. In fact, 2SLGBTQ+ individuals experience far greater rates of gender-based violence. A 2015 study (cited in Wisdom2Action’s 2022 report, Queering Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response in Canada) found that transgender individuals are twice as likely as cisgender women and four times as likely as cisgender men to report intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime. As intersectional feminists, we believe we must advocate for all survivors if we are going to build safer communities where everyone is free from violence.
While gender-based violence is finally getting the air time it deserves following its staggering increase during the pandemic, we still are not seeing a concerted effort to put an end to it. A 2021 Canadian Women’s Foundation report found that 64% of people in Canada know someone who has experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Women are still eight times more likely than men to be killed by their intimate partner. According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory For Justice and Accountability, 160 women and girls were killed by violence in 2020, a massive increase from 118 in 2019, and 1 in 5 of women killed in 2020 were First Nation, Metis or Inuit. Further, continued adherence to the gender binary, heterosexism and patriarchy is systemic GBV against 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and harms us all.
And that’s why we walk.
Please join us in walking to end gender-based violence in the Waterloo Region. Help us to build a safer, more inclusive community where everyone is valued and feels safe. Because everyone deserves to live a life free of violence and hate.