Our approach, or “the lens” through which we work is central to who we are as an organization, and the way in which we go about working towards preventing violence and supporting survivors.
Our lens as an organization and as a team of staff continues to grow and change in order to respond to our learning and the needs of our community. Our lens, and the context we work in, is ever-changing and we return to these ideas often.
Here are some aspects of our lens:
- We recognize that our work must address the reality that gender-based violence and sexualized violence is inherently connected and rooted to colonialism. We cannot discuss creating a culture of consent and care without looking at Canada’s own ongoing legacy of occupying lands without consent, disrespecting territorial boundaries and infringing on people’s bodies with violence and coercion. Therefore, as we work on unceded Indigenous territories, we understand that engaging in anti-colonial actions is critical to our work as anti-violence advocates.
- We work with people of all genders (including men, trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary folks) in all aspects of our work, including as volunteers, staff and service users.
- We hold a critical stance on law enforcement and support transformative justice.
- We are committed to harm reduction.
- We strive to be non-disposable, including working with people who have caused harm.
- We hold a reproductive justice framework that supports not only access to contraception and abortion, but also access to resources and supports to have children.
- We support sex workers and their rights to working conditions that are free from violence and criminalization.
- We are sex-positive.
- We recognize the interconnections of all forms of violence. We can’t just push back on sexualized or gender-based violence without understanding how they are tied to other forms of violence such as racism, ableism, transantagonism, etc.
- We uphold community care and response. We strive to support community-based responses, especially those organized by survivors, whenever possible. This includes upholding the work of other organizations and groups as we understand that ending violence requires that we work together.
- We strive to be transparent and accountable to our larger community and, more specifically, to UVic undergraduate and graduate students whose student fees fund our work.