In a community as small as the Yukon, when people begin to stand together, change is a very real possibility.

The 2015 annual 12 Days to End Violence Against Women campaign launches on Nov. 25. During these 12 days Whitehorse residents will come together in support of women in our community and take a stand against violence.

Community members young and old are coming together for this campaign.  Bachelor of Social work students at Yukon College are organizing a Take Back the Night March on Nov. 26, and young builders and artists from YuKonstruct Makerspace and Splintered Craft are collaborating on an art project that will be featured during the campaign.

We are all the sister, brother, mother, daughter, son, friend, or colleague of a victim or abuser. But we can create a ripple effect of change when we all get involved. This is the message keynote speaker Monique Lepine will present Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre. Lepine will share her story of resilience and hope as she and her community recovered from the violence committed by her son at the 1989 Montreal Massacre.  

Yukoners can also take part in a workshop, called It’s Not Right, hosted by the Yukon Community Network of Older Adults and Yukon Public Legal Education Association  to promote positive views of older adults and how to recognize signs of abuse and neglect of older women. It will take place Dec. 2 at 1 pm at Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre.  

Men have a big role to play in ending violence against women and there are many ways they can participate in the 12 days of action. White Ribbon Yukon and Moosehide campaigns work to create dialogue among men and Aboriginal communities by encouraging them to pledge to never commit, condone or stay silent about violence. This year a fireside chat will be held Dec. 3 at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre Fire Pit from 7-8 p.m. for Aboriginal men to come together on this issue.  

Men, women, students, seniors, families – this issue touches us all and it has many dimensions. Les Essentielles and Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre are coming together with more community partners than ever before to bring you educational and inspirational events – all designed to get everyone in our community engaged in this issue and to show how we can all play our part to make our communities safe.  

The 12 Days to End Violence Campaign offers a way to learn more and get involved in this issue. We can end violence in our communities. Become an ally. Get involved at www.EndViolenceYukon.com. This project was made possible with funding from the Crime Prevention Victim Services Trust Fund and the Women’s Directorate.