The Council takes a zero tolerance position on violence against women. This is recognized throughout all levels of society whether it be the common person, an elected or a well to do person. Zero tolerance is the only option if we are to teach our children what hurts our communities and families. There is no room for abuse and violence in our homes and our society cannot produce healthy families while turning a blind eye to outrageous behaviour. As leaders and decision-makers in our homes, in the workforce and in the different levels of government, we must show that violent behaviour is not acceptable and we as a people must take steps towards the betterment of all people, all ages and all genders in our communities. The abuse of women, whether it is silent, seen or unseen, hurts all aspects of the community. The negative impact is profound because we play such a pivotal role in and around our homes. One hurting person affects many others around them, including children who are not able to stand up and speak out for themselves.
Inuuqatigiitsiarniq: Working Towards a Territorial Strategy to Stop Violence Against Women Symposium took place in Iqaluit, Nunavut from January 17-20, 2006.
The Symposium was hosted by Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council in conjunction with the Government of Nunavut’s multi-departmental Violence Against Women Working Group.
Nunavut has some of the highest levels of violence against women occurring in Canada and as a result, the Government of Nunavut is working toward developing a territorial strategy to stop violence against women. The Symposium was an important element in the development of the strategy. The Symposium brought together 75-100 participants from all 25 communities across Nunavut to consult on the issues surrounding the increasingly high levels of violence against women in Nunavut, and determined the tools and resources required to build a foundation for healthy communities in which women and their children can live free from violence.
The goal of the Symposium was to facilitate a forum which enabled communities to provide significant and realistic input into programs, policies and protocols that will directly impact them when dealing with the issue of violence. This will result in working toward a comprehensive, culturally appropriate strategy to address the high levels of violence in Nunavut communities. It addressed both consultative and educational components of this issue, and allowed communities to address the issues of violence against women with the support of existing agencies.