rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

The Women's Centre of Halton shines a light on sex trafficking

Saturday, November 25th ushered in the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Now in its fifth year, the UNiTE Orange the World Campaign launches on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on Sunday, December 10th International Human Rights Day.

This year’s theme, “Leave no one behind: end violence against women and girls,” reinforces the UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world, starting with the most underserved and marginalized.

Supporters of the UNiTE campaign will don their favourite orange outfits while buildings and significant structures around the world will shine orange every night signalling a brighter future free from gendered violence.

This year, The Women’s Centre of Halton (TWCH) is once again partnering with Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) for an evening of film and discussion shining the light on sex trafficking. 

Three short films will set the stage for what should be a lively discussion.

Catcalling draws attention to street harassment and highlights the vulnerability of women in public spaces. Unfortunately, this all too common form of sexual violence is often considered just a normal part of life.

Stop Sex trafficking in Ontario with Covenant House exposes the truth that sex trafficking is happening right here at home and could even involve the girl next door.

I Survived Human Trafficking in Johannesburg explores sex trafficking from a global perspective and reminds us that what affects one of us affects all of us.

According to Martha Barragan, Executive Director of TWCH, "We are tying in both worlds. Highlighting the theme of UNiTE and coming together as a sisterhood to end all forms of violence. The goal is to raise awareness while creating a safe space for folks to engage in some heavy discussions on otherwise taboo topics."

To that end, Alma Aguello, Executive Director of Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS), will explain the history and prevalence of sex trafficking in our community and share some of the work her agency has undertaken. Constable Joy Brown, Halton Regional Police, will discuss the current situation in Canada and the role law enforcement plays. 

TWCH is considered a secondary support for women who have been trafficked. Women referred by partner agencies receive immediate self-care resources as well as advocacy navigating various systems. TWCH also offers crisis counselling, danger and risk assessments, along with safety planning. TWCH currently sits on the Sexual Assault Advisory Committee to Halton Regional Police.

GRAN's priorities include supporting African grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren by ensuring access to affordable medicines, improving access to education, and ending violence against women and girls. GRAN recognizes sex trafficking in Africa is an enormous problem and acknowledges that marginalized grandchildren are at greater risk of being trafficked.

As Barragan observes, "The UNiTE campaign is so important because we don't just want to focus on our own issues, but rather the global sisterhood and what women centres around the world are doing to promote this unity."

Clearly, Canadian feminist and politician Rosemary Brown was visionary when she so wisely said, “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it." That’s why we can leave no woman or girl behind.

More information about this event can be found here.

Like this article? Please chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.