"Violence against women and girls is unacceptable. Period."
The Annual Members Meeting of YWCA Canada, the nation’s largest single provider of services for women dealing with violence, is sending a message of solidarity to the community of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan for their walk to raise community support for ending violence against women and girls, held Friday in response to the violent attack on Marlene Bird. Marlene Bird faces life-threatening injuries after being brutally assaulted in Prince Albert on Sunday June 1, and is currently in critical condition at University of Alberta Hospital.
“Violence against women and girls is unacceptable. Period,” says Nyaradzayi Gumbvonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA. “It is the world’s leading human rights violation and today, Canada is no exception. Globally, Canada has been a leader on the issue of violence against women, but that leadership needs to include violence against First Nations women here in Canada. The YWCA movement, in 125 countries and 22,000 communities around the world, stands in solidarity with Marlene Bird and joins her family’s call for justice.”
“Half of all women in Canada experience violence in their lifetime,” says YWCA Canada CEO, Paulette Senior. “Aboriginal women are 3.5 times more likely to experience violence. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is conducting an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada because the Government of Canada refuses to.“
“Marlene Bird is a mother, a daughter, a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, and a part of our YWCA Prince Albert family,” says Donna Brooks, Executive Director of YWCA Prince Albert. “This attack has left her life hanging in the balance, and it has brought our community together to work to end violence.”
The YWCA movement locally, nationally and internationally calls for the police to identify those who assaulted Marlene Bird and bring them to justice and for all levels of government to fulfill women’s and girls’ human right to freedom from violence. YWCA Canada and our 32 Member Associations across the country call on our national government implement a National Action Plan on violence against women and girls and to cooperate in the UN inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and implement the recommendations that result.
For more information and/or to arrange interviews please contact: Laura Tilley, Communications Manager, YWCA Canada, 647.883.2340.
About YWCA Canada:
YWCA Canada is the country's oldest and largest women's multi-service organization. With 32 Member Associations across the country, our Turning Point Programs for Women™ serve women and girls in nine provinces and two territories. YWCA Canada is the nation's single largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence, the second largest provider of childcare services, and an active member of the World YWCA. For more information visit ywcacanada.ca, find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or at facebook.com/ywcacanada.