Champions Message – 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence


The Government of Canada and the Defence Team are marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from November 25 to December 10.

This year’s theme, #OurActionsMatter, aims to inspire individuals and groups to question, call out and speak up against acts of gender-based violence which affects everyone and manifests itself in many different forms.

The 16 Days include:

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence provides Defence Team members with an opportunity to create real change across the department. With the collective #OurActionsMatter theme, we invite you to join us as we lend our voices to the cause, and inspire others to take concrete action against gender-based violence. As the largest department in the Government of Canada, we have the individuals and resources to make a major difference throughout the 16 Days of Activism.

To become an ally of the campaign, we encourage you to:

  1. Listen – Be open to learning from the experiences of others.
  2. Believe – Support survivors and those affected by violence.
  3. Speak out – Add your voice to call out violence.
  4. Intervene – Find a safe way to help when you see acts of gender-based violence.
  5. Act – Give your time to organizations working to end violence, and be the change you want to see.

The themes discussed during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence align with a number of Defence initiatives dedicated to creating safer, more respectful workplaces and communities. The Chief of the Defence Staff, Deputy Minister, and CAF senior leaders continue to lead the full implementation of Operation HONOUR to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour. In addition to providing 24/7 counselling and support, the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre has launched the Sexual Assault Centre Contribution Program to ensure that individuals affected by sexual misconduct in the vicinity of CAF communities have access to a wider range of support services to cope with the effects of sexual misconduct. Military Family Services is also implementing family crisis teams at wings and bases across Canada, in partnership with Military Family Resource Centres, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. This initiative is part of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

We invite you to join the conversation between November 25 and December 10, by sharing the ways we can all be part of the solution to end gender-based violence. Use the hashtag #OurActionsMatter on social media, and visit Women and Gender Equality Canada’s web site to learn more.

Commodore Rebecca Patterson

Champion for Women

Rear-Admiral Luc Cassivi

Co-Champion for Gender and Diversity for Operations

Corporate Secretary Isabelle Daoust

Co-Champion for Gender and Diversity for Operations