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Collective Joy as Resistance: The Importance of Collective Care in Gender-Based Violence Activism

OTTAWA, Wednesday, December 6, 2023 – The fight to end gender-based violence (GBV) is waged on multiple fronts by activists and frontline workers. But this year, it’s being brought to the dance floor.

As part of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence – which runs from November 25 to December 10 – Krys Maki, Assistant Professor with the Élisabeth-Bruyère School of Social Innovation is organizing a dance party for anti-violence activists, frontline workers, and allies in the fight to end GBV.

“Anti-violence workers are deeply committed to supporting survivors and ending GBV. But the work is difficult, undervalued, and often underpaid due to insufficient funding. With the increase in GBV during the pandemic and lack of consistent and sustainable funding to meet the demands, some workers have left the sector,” explains Maki. “The purpose of the event is to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the important work that they do in our communities. I wanted to create a space for pure feminist joy!”

The idea for this joyful event stems from Maki’s research and work, which focuses on burnout among GBV activists and workers and the need to sustain collective efforts to continue to push for transformative social change at all levels.

“Self-care individualizes the systemic factors facing the GBV anti-violence sector. To do movement work for the long haul, we need to cultivate strong and deep relationships with one another. Collective care makes us stronger and more resilient,” they added.

Activists and anti-violence workers – who are often survivors themselves - play a pivotal role in raising awareness, advocating for policy changes, and providing support to survivors. Addressing the challenges they face and promoting their well-being fosters a more sustainable and effective movement to support survivors and eradicate gender-based violence from our communities.

“The 16 days of activism is a busy time of year for feminist organizations and workers. While this is a time to mobilize and take action, it is also a time to connect with our feminist comrades and celebrate our collective efforts,” says Maki. “We can’t do this work alone – we need each other.”

About the Solidarity Dance Party

The Solidarity Dance Party is being held Friday, December 8 at The Atelier (95 Clegg St.). Doors open at 7 p.m. for an hour of feminist networking and the party begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12, with all proceeds going to the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women. To purchase tickets, please click here. This is an inclusive and safe space for all gender and sexual identities and expressions. All are welcome!



For more information, please contact:

Julie Bourassa
Communications Officer, Saint Paul University
613-236-1393, ext. 2310


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