A collaboration of the St. John’s Status of Women Council/Women’s Centre, the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, the NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, and Violence Prevention – Avalon East. The names of more than 120 women and girls of Newfoundland and Labrador will be read aloud to be honoured and remembered. This list contains the names of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and girls.
St. John’s, NL – One year ago, the organizers of the annual In Her Name vigil issued a call for the creation of a provincial task force on gender-based violence. The crowd that had gathered that evening listened as one by one, 117 names of our province’s missing and murdered women and girls were read aloud from the steps of the Colonial Building. We resolved to make change on their behalf, to end violence against women and girls.
That change has not been forthcoming. To date, there has been no movement on the establishment of a provincial task force. Through historical research and tips from the public and family members of those who have been lost to violence, this year’s list has now grown to include the names of 136 women and girls. Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country. Change is needed, and it’s needed now.
On Thursday, October 4, the St. John’s Status of Women Council and St. John’s Native Friendship Centre will join together in remembrance and will rally once more for action. The In Her Name vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Colonial Building at 90 Military Road in St. John’s. Jenelle Duval of Eastern Owl and Colleen Power will perform. The event will go ahead rain or shine and all are welcome.
Jenny Wright, Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council:
“A provincial task force on gender-based violence is past due. It is time to establish a well-resourced and fully funded task force to create a comprehensive plan to end violence against women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Amelia Reimer, Cultural Support Coordinator of the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre:
“In light of the ongoing National Inquiry into Missing/Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is extremely important to continue to shine a light on the violence Indigenous women face in this country. Indigenous women continue to experience violence at a much higher rate than non-Indigenous women. At the In Her Name vigil, we will come together as a province to remember all women and girls that have lost their lives to this violence, and we honour and respect that we are all ‘Sisters in Spirit,’ both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.”
The St. John’s Status of Women Council received support from Department of Justice Canada’s Victims and Survivors of Crime Week fund to establish the In Her Name Healing Garden at the St. John’s Women’s Centre this past summer. Families and loved ones will now have a place to gather and remember not just at the vigil, but throughout the year.
Individuals or groups who wish to volunteer or to read a name at the In Her Name vigil are invited to contact Amelia Reimer at email@example.com.
St. John’s Status of Women Council/Women’s Centre
Cultural Support Coordinator
St. John’s Native Friendship Centre
For Immediate Release
October 19, 2017
PANSOW expresses disappointment at lack of government consultation
Following the In Her Name Vigil for missing and murdered women and girls of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) and a coalition of anti-violence groups called for the establishment of a Provincial Task Force on Gender-Based Violence. This week the Provincial Government announced the formation of a Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women and Girls. PANSOW is expressing disappointment in this approach.
PANSOW and its community partners called for the establishment of a task force to oversee the implementation of a comprehensive, provincial plan to end domestic violence, and all violence, against women and girls. The Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women and girls will be comprised of government and community representatives; membership is by invitation only.
Jenny Wright, PANSOW Co-Chair and Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council:
“The way in which the government has established this committee circumvents the work of a coalition of anti-violence and domestic violence experts. The government did not acknowledge PANSOW’s request or engage in any consultation on the matter. Telling organizations to wait for an invitation is not a consultation.”
PANSOW had asked women-serving anti-violence organizations to join the call for a provincial task force and had responses from organizations across the province.
Janice Kennedy, PANSOW Co-Chair and Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women Council:
“The shift from a task force informed and led by anti-violence experts to an invitation-only committee is disappointing. Consulting with those who issued the call for a task force on gender-based violence should be an imperative for this government.”
PANSOW is calling on Minister Parsons to halt the further development of this committee until his department has met with the organization and its partners.
Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women
The Provincial Action Network of the Status of Women (PANSOW) is a grassroots, feminist, and non-partisan network which gives a provincial voice on the issues facing the Status of Women in Newfoundland and Labrador. PANSOW consists of all eight Status of Women Councils in Newfoundland and Labrador.