VICTORIA— Local leaders, advocates and artists will join MP Murray Rankin (Victoria) and NDP Status of Women Critic, MP Niki Ashton (Churchill) for a community discussion on equality and ending violence against women.

“Violence against women is an epidemic that impacts families and communities across Canada and around the world,” said Ashton. “After decades of studies and recommendations, women are still 11 times more likely than men to be targets of sexual violence. It’s time for action.”

In May, Ashton introduced a motion, M-444, which outlined a concrete plan for the federal government that includes working with the provinces, territories and civil society, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples to eliminate violence against women. The event in Victoria is part of a  nation-wide consultation with Canadians.

“Women are the leaders in the fight for equality, but I believe men must act as allies to women and speak out against male violence towards women and rape culture,” said Rankin. “In my role as an elected representative I feel even more of a responsibility to lead by example, be part of this movement, and do what I can to help create real positive change for women and girls.”

The NDP has repeatedly called on the federal government to establish a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, as well as pushing for immediate action on this national tragedy.

Taking Action on Violence Against Women: A Community Discussion Friday, April 11 – 6:30-8:30 First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral Road)

Guest speakers include:

Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament for Churchill, and NDP Official Opposition Critic for the Status of Women Maurine Karagianis, MLA for Esquimalt – Royal Roads, BCNDP Official Opposition Critic for Women’s Issues Victoria Pruden, Executive Director of the Bridges for Women Society Makenna Reilly, Executive Director of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and the Victoria Women’s Transition House Jeannette MacInnis, Director of Health at the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres Featuring performances by Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Morgan Purvis and performance poet Jeremy Loveday