Adrian Sutherland

WATCH: White Ribbon’s Short Film Focuses on Gender-based Violence During Pandemic

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Advocacy group White Ribbon has released Day After Day, a four-minute film from Academy Award-nominated director Hubert Davis, which speaks directly to men who are using, or at risk of using, gender-based violence as a response to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Please be aware that the 4-minute PSA comes with a trigger warning for violence and abuse).

The film follows the story of a family in lockdown experiencing a troubling pattern of domestic abuse. Research has shown that social isolation, loss of employment and reduced income are all factors known to increase the risk of domestic violence.

Helplines experienced an alarming increase in calls almost immediately after COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders were implemented.

According to Women and Gender Equality Canada, the Battered Women’s Support Services hotline in British Columbia witnessed a 400 percent increase in calls between April and May 2021. Forty percent of those were from women isolated with their abuser. Ontario’s Assaulted Women’s Helpline also reported a 400 percent increase in calls in April 2020.

In a survey of Quebec women's shelter clients conducted by Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale from July to November 2020, 42 per cent of women said they faced more intense incidents of domestic violence during the first lockdown. Forty-three per cent said they didn’t seek help because their partner was always around.

The Calgary Domestic Violence Collective’s family violence info line received a 23 per cent increase in calls from April to August in 2020 in comparison to the same months in the previous year.

Canadian Press reported that Saskatoon police reported a 17 per cent increase in calls related to domestic violence between March and June 2020 compared to the same months a year earlier.

White Ribbon was created in Toronto in 1991 and has become the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, and promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. Its initiatives have been organized in more than 60 countries around the world.

Among its many calls to action, White Ribbon asks men to wear white ribbons as a sign of their pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about all forms of gender-based violence.

TRIGGER WARNING: Violence and abuse.

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