35th Anniversary: Review, Rejoice, Recommit

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter Collective is proud to mark 35 years of collective work to end violence against women. In the process of marking our 35 th anniversary the current collective recognized an opportunity to review our collective herstory and to reflect upon our past struggles and successes. In celebration, we decided to create a year-long series of events that nod to our past achievements while recognizing that the fight to end violence against women continues for ourselves and for women everywhere. The topics that the collective chose to focus upon for these events are a reflection of the work of those women who came before us and those who continue with us in solidarity. They are also what we are adamant to be some of our most primary considerations that face us in our current social and political climate. This is our time to rejoice; it is also our time, as women and as a collective, to recommit to the women’s movement and to our collective vision for the future.

International Women’s Day: A Vancouver Event to mark 35 years of service and political advocacy on behalf of abused women.

March 8 2008

At this event, the collective had the great privilege of hearing one of the founders of Rape Relief speak about the earliest days of our inspiring herstory. We were thrilled to learn of the pride she feels to be connected to our ongoing efforts to end violence against women and to hear of how impressed she is of our collective achievements. It was also a great opportunity to recognize the women and men in our House Funding group who support us in our work and who agree that all men benefit from violence against women and that all men have a responsibility to end it. To have them join us in our public review of our past work and to celebrate the feminists that came before us was a testament to their support that all men benefit from violence against women and that all men have a responsibility to end violence against women.

Policing Male Violence Against Women

An international gathering to mark 35 years of working to improve the criminal justice response to violence against women.

April 23-26, 2008

The Rape Relief collective was excited to host this gathering of feminists in the interest of sharing our knowledge of how feminists have contributed to improved police responses to violence against women and to acknowledge how we continue to struggle to ensure a better police response today. We also shared and expressed our collective outrage given the state’s responsibility to protect women and their ongoing refusal to do so. The meeting was a very rewarding opportunity to learn from each other the strategies we have used and obstacles we face in getting the police to respond to the call of battered and abused women.

International Gathering of Transition House Workers

May 23-28, 2008

The collective of Vancouver Rape Relief hosted a small gathering of feminists and feminist front-line workers from around the world who share similar legal and political frameworks as Canada to share our herstories on the creation and maintenance of transition houses. We seized this meeting as an opportunity to question what has become of the transition house as a tactic and as a resource to fight violence against women.

Flesh Mapping: vancouver markets pacific women

A gathering of feminists form around the Pacific Rim to consider the link between demand for prostitutes in Vancouver and the International traffic of women and girls.

November 25 – December 10, 2008

As all women are harmed by violence against women, we believe that all women benefit from grouping together to resist it! Our last event is a gathering of women from around the Pacific Rim to explore, combine and respond to experiences of the modern migration (think: trafficking) fostered by the domestic Canadian demand for the sex trade (prostitution). Attend special roundtable discussions at the Vancouver Art Gallery in conjunction with WACK!, a feminist-art retrospective exhibit. Visit our learning centre in Gallery Gachet, and witness our own statements (literally) unfold.