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YWCA Canada’s Rose Campaign and #NOTokay Initiative

25 Years after the Montreal Massacre, Violence against Women is #NOTokay. YWCA Canada’s new campaign calls for every day action to end violence

Press Release Ottawa, Tuesday, November 25, 2014 – Calling for dramatic action to end violence against women and girls, YWCA Canada, the nation’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service association, launches its annual Rose Campaign on Parliament Hill, along with the vibrant new initiative, #NOTokay. Into a year flooded with news of violence against women and girls, YWCA Canada introduces #NOTokay, a social media campaign asking the public to call it out when images, messages and actions promote violence against women. “Women and girls face brutal violence in our country,” says YWCA Canada CEO Paulette Senior. “For months we’ve heard one horrific story after another on the news. Twenty-five years ago fourteen women were murdered in Montreal for being women. Now, on average, a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner every week. We hear women of courage speaking out every day about the violence in their lives. Every one of us needs to listen and act. When you think something is not okay, don’t let it ride. Call it out. Say it’s not okay.”



As the website www.notokay.ca went live this morning, the distinctive #NOTokay logo spreadacross social media sites and Canadians looking for change took to Twitter and Facebook in support of the campaign.




“Children and youth in school today weren’t born when the Montreal Massacre happened in 1989, but 25 years later they are surrounded by images, videos, music lyrics and social media that foster a culture of violence against women and girls,” says Canadian Teachers’ Federation President, Dianne Woloschuk. “Violence prevention begins with young people learning what’s healthy and what’s not. YWCA Canada’s new campaign, #NOTokay, provides accessible tools. When kids feel something is upsetting or demeaning, they have a simple way to say it’s not okay.”

Rose Campaign supporters across Canada will Light the Night against violence on December 6 by having monuments, buildings and bridges from coast to coast – including Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, the CN Tower, and BC Place in Vancouver – lit in red at sunset. For more locations, visit www.rosecampaign.ca.