Saturday, April 17, 2010

Interesting Billboard: What is your role?

I just saw this billboard while driving and was pleasantly surprised and impressed to see something like this displayed on a busy highway in my hometown.

It says (in both English and French):
End Violence Against Women
What is YOUR role? (featuring a generic male figure)

I also found this ad, which is posted on buses around the city

According to their website,
The committee actively works towards eliminating the social, political and economic conditions that perpetuate violence against women... while respecting special needs of children and men survivors. The Coalition is committed to ensuring that services are accessible by supporting existing resources, identifying gaps and promoting prevention through education and awareness.

I wish I wasn't so surprised to see something like this happening so close to home. I am currently not sure what exactly this group has accomplished, or help they can offer survivors, but I really like the attempt to identify gaps in the system, as well as the public awareness campaign.

I especially like that it isn't showing violence as an act that is committed by a few pathological/criminal male figures to helpless female victims, but is showing a complex interplay of relationships between people, especially in the bus ad. It is acknowledging that everyone has a role in systemic violence against women (as well as violence against children and men). And it specifically mentions social, political, and economic conditions as factors!

Definitely a step in the right direction. Every one of us should take a few minutes to think about our role within various hierarchies of privilege and oppression on a regular basis.

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