What is Relentless Resilience?
Relentless Resilience is a multi-media campaign by Aura Freedom to end gender-based violence in Canada. It is a grassroots movement to advance equity and challenge unhealthy norms that are contributing to violence.
Based on our Beijing +25 Parallel Report of the same name published in Feb 2020 (see below), Relentless Resilience will educate Canadians on gender-based violence and demonstrate how it is affecting every single aspect of life in Canada – from housing and food security, to mental health and addiction, to education and the economy.
In addition, Relentless Resilience will show that by challenging power imbalances and systemic inequities, we can end gender-based violence for good. TOGETHER!
Relentless Resilience will work hard to:
We're not waiting anymore.
Join the movement online today and watch Canada flourish.
The Report that Started it All
In 2019, Aura Freedom began the research for what would be a grassroots report on gender-based violence in Canada.
After months of research and interviews with frontline workers, activists, lawyers, survivors, scholars and more, Aura Freedom released its Relentless Resilience report in February 2020 with specific calls to action and recommendations to Canadian leadership on how to eradicate gender-based violence by advancing equity.
The report is also a sobering look at the effects of gender-based violence on all aspects of Canadian life and was written as a Parallel Report for the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration.
What is the Beijing Declaration?
In 1995, Canada signed the UN Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. At the time, it was considered one of the most progressive documents on women’s rights ever created. Women around the world were hopeful.
The Beijing Declaration provided a blueprint for the advancement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. It was adopted by 189 UN Member States, including Canada.
And yet, here we are. 25 years later:
Relentless Resilience calls for holistic change to address the root causes of gender-based violence (gender inequity, systemic racism, colonialism, ableism, trans/homophobia, capitalism, etc.) and societal power imbalances and inequities that uphold the status quo.
It calls for prevention through equity-advancing education and the dismantling of oppressive structures that keep women and girls at risk of violence and Indigenous, racialized and marginalized women at an even higher risk.
Our guiding framework is rooted in human rights activism, intersectional feminism, grassroots excellence, trauma, and, of course, resilience. Relentless Resilience aims to highlight the most marginalized women and girls in Canada and the resiliency of them in response to violence, oppression, and indifference.
We refuse to accept gender-based violence and we refuse to wait any longer for change.
When will women and girls matter enough? In a world that has mobilized to fight a pandemic, can we not mobilize in the same way to end gender-based violence which has been happening at pandemic rates for centuries?
Why is gender-based violence still happening? Every day, women’s shelters see two women leave and another three show up and COVID-19 has only made things worse. Relentless Resilience will work to PREVENT and ERADICATE gender-based violence, as opposed to solely responding to it when it has already happened. We will do this by addressing the root causes of violence and advancing equity. Yes, this is a long process and we may never see the full results in our lifetime, but it is the only way to create true, long-term change for everyone.
From Report to Campaign
Aura Freedom was accepted to present Relentless Resilience at the NGO Forum of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2020. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, this event was cancelled, but with funding from the Government of Canada through the Toronto Foundation, we will continue our efforts to prevent and eradicate gender-based violence throughout the pandemic and beyond through the Relentless Resilience online campaign and micro site.
The only way forward is to go back to the beginning. To how we got here. The only way forward is for all of us, in Canada and around the world, to invest in the way each child is treated, taught, protected and valued equally from day one. Equality and equity is everything.
The Power of the Grassroots
We would like to acknowledge all of the frontline workers, grassroots organizers, activists, and survivors who contributed to the Relentless Resilience report and subsequent campaign with brilliant and passionate interviews and frontline experience. We respectfully and gratefully acknowledge all of your beautiful work to support women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada.
Relentless Resilience is by no means a complete look at every grassroots organization in Canada working tirelessly to end gender-based violence.
On the contrary, it is the tip of the iceberg.
We would like to recognize all those organizations and individuals that wanted to contribute to our interviews but were unable to due to the heavy workloads and lack of staff that are all too common in GBV organizations. This too, is part of the problem.