November 25, 2022 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

“Gender-based violence (GBV) is a reality that so many of us live with and/or have survived. It is everywhere and no one is absolutely safe. King’s community taking part in the 16 Days [of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence] brings us together in solidarity and shows a clear commitment to our students, faculty and staff, and everyone else we reach, that we seek an end to GBV and will actively be part of making that happen,” says Dr. Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, Sessional Instructor for Philosophy, Women’s Studies, and Social Justice & Peace Studies (SJPS).

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual United Nations initiative that runs from November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, until December 10, Human Rights Day.

A number of King’s groups, including Residence and Campus Life, the Social Justice & Peace Studies Club, King’s University College Students’ Council (KUCSC) and students from various Social Justice and Peace Studies classes, are working together to highlight the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. King’s will embark on a social media campaign to address a range of gender-based issues and populations including cisgender girls and women, 2SLGBTQIA people, the homeless, sex workers, migrants and refugees, Indigenous people, those with disabilities, and issues regarding health care, and intersectionalities.

“We want to approach the issue of gender-based violence with a broad and inclusive lens,” says Doreen Vautour, Associate Dean of Students.

On December 6, a public display outside the King Student Life Center will commemorate the deaths of the 14 women killed, and the 10 women and four men injured at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. The female students were singled out and killed by a gunman who claimed he was “fighting feminism” in one of the deadliest mass shootings in Canadian history. 

A zine is being developed and all members of the King’s community are invited to contribute writing and art.  The zine will be available online and distributed in printed form across campus at the end of the campaign.

King’s has also invited community partners working in the area of gender-based sexual violence to campus. Changing Ways and ANOVA will provide information and be available to talk with students about the issues of gender-based violence. Changing Ways will have an information table in the Student Life Centre on December 5 from 1- 3 p.m. and ANOVA will have an information table in the Student Life Centre from December 6 from 1-3 p.m.

As part of London’s Shine a Light on Woman Abuse campaign, King’s will be hosting a talk by Dr. Jennifer Kagan, a campaign honouree.

“When you sink into the stats and reality of GBV, it can be so overwhelming and feel like a futile battle, but seeing your community stand in solidarity against and speak out about these issues, it is energizing, inspiring, and creates hope,” says Dr. Baltzer-Jaray.

“We recognize that gender-based violence remains an issue on our campus, on all campuses, and in our communities. This campaign seeks to bring attention to these issues and encourage all members of the King’s community to actively work towards the eradication of gender-based violence,” says Vautour.

King’s continues to promote and maintain a safe and respectful working and learning environment. In May 2022, our Gender-based Sexual Violence policy was updated and approved by the Board of Directors. During the summer of 2022, student leaders underwent mandatory gender-based sexual violence (GBSV) prevention training and first-year students were required to participate in the training ahead of their arrival on campus in Fall 2022, as part of a shared commitment with Brescia and Huron University Colleges to create safe, open campus spaces. King’s employees have also undergone training on Workplace Violence and Harassment and Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence.

Joe Henry, Dean of Students, says, “Our community at King’s has responsibility to educate about gender-based violence in all forms on campus and continue to initiate programs and services that enhance safety and end violence against women and girls.”

King’s, along with Western, also has dedicated resources in place to support students, faculty and staff. A reminder of the gender-based violence disclosure protocols and supports is on our website.