An important day of remembrance

screenshot_20161202-143913Guest post by Jessica Harvey

Let’s face it, between rushing to 8:30am classes, writing 14-page term papers, and studying now for exams, many of us don’t have the time to learn about all of the resources and events UVic has to offer. However, procrastination rules all, and it was during one of many Facebook visits that I learned about an important event that struck a chord with me.

On Friday December 2nd I went to UVic’s Student Union Building for an event being held for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Or NDRAVAM if you’re trying to save some time). I’d volunteered to run a Snapchat takeover for the event to raise awareness of the many issues surrounding this important day.

image003It was important for me to attend and promote the cause, as I have known many women who have been affected by violence and heard of far too many more.

There were many powerful guest speakers. Each in their own way illuminated the operation of violence within gender-based systems of oppression. They revealed to me how disproportionately this violence affects the intersecting communities of racialized and indigenous women, trans people, non-gender conforming, and those with disabilities. They showed me how far this issue really extends, how many voices dealing with these issues aren’t heard.

What struck me the moment I walked through the door was how inclusive the event was. This inclusivity really spoke to the experiences and impacts of gender-based violence through an intersectional lens. It was amazing for me to experience first-hand the different organizations and clubs associated with the university.

image001Some of the groups that were present at the event included the Consent Advocates, Equity & Outreach, The Anti-Violence Project, Let’s Get Consensual, Students with Disabilities, Students of Colour Collective, and many more — all working with the goal of inclusivity, awareness, and prevention in mind.

Getting to know more about the organizations and clubs involved in this day has ignited a fire within me to become more aware of events going on around campus and to get involved with things I feel passionately about.

It makes me proud not only as a student, but as a woman, that the place that I have spent countless hours at over the past three years and can basically call home, the University of Victoria, has put forth such an effort towards these issues of sexualized violence – on campus and in the community. The priority that UVic places on individual safety and the commitment they have in developing a new policy on preventing and responding to sexualized violence is music to my, and every other student’s, ears.


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