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Women’s shelter garners support from men in a campaign to commemorate December 6th


(TORONTO) Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter has been providing a safe haven for women and children escaping violence since 1983.  Run by and for women, Ernestine’s is now launching a 10 Great Men campaign in which women are invited to garner support from the men in their lives to support the shelter and its work to end violence against women.

      “The idea is to come up with a list of Ten 10 Great Men in your own life and ask them each to donate to Ernestine’s as a way of standing up against violence against women,” says board member Catherine May who tried out the plan out on a group of her male friends.

“I sent an email to 10 Great guys that I know,” says Catherine, “and asked each of them to go to our website to make a small donation as a show of support for the great work of the shelter and the struggles of the women who live there.   The result was overwhelmingly positive.  My ten great men are fathers, grandfathers, brothers, co-workers and friends to women – from different walks of life. They were all very happy to donate.

“We wanted to tie the 10 Great Men campaign to something meaningful,” says Jill Cunningham, director of finance at the shelter, “and December 6th is the anniversary of that horrible day when the impact of violence against women was so keenly felt right across the country.”

“Sometimes being caught up in the horror of something prevents us from taking action. It was the gender based nature of this crime that was so inescapable and painful both for women and the men that love them. We don’t want the men in our lives to feel paralyzed by guilt, we want to invite them to be part of the solution. Now we have focused on a way for men to directly contribute and support services that help women who are abused,” she added.

In Canada, December 6th is The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.  It is the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal when a gunman roamed the hallways separating the men from the women, yelling “J’haïs les feminists” (“I hate feminists”) and ultimately shooting and killing 14 women with a rifle.  It was a galvanizing moment when a grief-stricken nation became outraged at violence against women.  To find out more about how to sign up to the 10 Great Men campaign, email or go to


Ernestine’s Unveils New Ads


Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter launched a new ad campaign aimed at raising awareness about the realities of violence against women and children. The posters and motion ad were in the TTC for 4 weeks from April 16, 2011.  “The ads are not easy to look at -­ they are harsh and show the realities of abuse -­ something most people are uncomfortable with” said  Sharlene Tygesen, director of community and staff relations at Ernestine’s.  “It’s important that we address this issue in the public realm -­ if we can’t address it in public, how can we end it in private?”


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