As part of the the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, the Brantford-Brant Women’s Liberal Club hosted a discussion on combating abuse and programs available for men and women facing abuse. We were fortunate to have a special guest speaker from Nova Vita Domestic Violence Prevention Services to lead the discussion.

In 1991, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership convened the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute (WGLI).

The 23 participants came from different countries in all of the world’s regions and were drawn from a variety of fields – lawyers, policymakers, teachers, health care workers, researchers, journalists, and activists.

These women were local civil society leaders with at least two years of experience in women’s organizing who were also interested in building the global women’s human rights movement.

During the WGLI, participants discussed different aspects of gender-based violence and human rights, learning from one another’s experiences and consequently developing strategies to increase international awareness of the systemic nature of violence against women and to expose this violence as a violation of women’s human rights.

While violence against women takes different forms according to its cultural context, the problem exists everywhere and working on the issue offers unique opportunities to build bridges across cultures, to learn from both similarities and differences, and to link strategies globally.

The Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau have been encouraging all Canadians to think about how their actions matter and to stand up against gender based violence.

This is why we have decided the most fitting local program to raise awareness is Nova Vita.

Nova Vita is a local women’s shelter that offers programs that help women build confidence and self reliance through transitional hoping and support and referrals to other community resources.

They also offer assistance to women and children trapped in an abusive home through outreach visits and educational workshops held at schools, libraries, churches and other community gathering places.

Our special guest and speaker for the evening was Brianna Kerr, who educated us on Nova Vita, their programs, and the need for more funding and assistance to those who are victims of abuse.

Thank you to all who attended, all who brought donations, and a special thanks to Brianna!

For more information on Nova Vita, please like their Facebook page or visit their web site.