New campaign urges Canadians to “Call It Out! Be More Than a Bystander to End Gender-Based Violence”

EDMONTON – Canadians are being urged to “Call It Out! Be More Than A Bystander to end gender-based violence” in a new campaign sponsored by the Canadian Football League (CFL), Ending Violence Association Canada (EVA), Status of Women Canada and the United Steelworkers.

“At this time of year when we Canadians join together to celebrate the Grey Cup, we want to remind everyone that we need to work together to end violence against women and the attitudes that can contribute to it,” Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, said at a news conference in Edmonton today.

This Sunday’s 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw, watched by millions on TSN and RDS and other networks around the world, will feature broadcast-visible sideline LED signage, an in-stadium video and a broad social media campaign that delivers the message that we all have a role to play to end gender-based violence.

It’s the same message the league, EVA Canada, Status of Women Canada, and the United Steelworkers have been delivering in CFL stadiums and on CFL broadcasts throughout the CFL playoffs this year.

“This campaign builds on the gender-based violence prevention work many of the teams have been doing: teaching youth and adults alike how they can speak up and ‘be more than bystanders’,” said Tracy Porteous, a leading activist and the Co-Chair of the Ending Violence Association of Canada.

“I want to commend the CFL, both for this campaign and the ground-breaking national violence against women prevention and response policy they launched in 2015. We work with the league office and CFL clubs to train all players, coaches and staff to respond proactively to any allegation of gender-based violence and, when necessary, we help CFL clubs assess those who may have a past history involving allegations of gender-based violence.”

“Status of Women Canada is proud to work with experts and advocates across the country to implement the first-ever federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence, and we are very pleased to be a partner in this important initiative,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, Terry Duguid. “Everyone has a role to play in ending gender-based violence and we hope Canadians will join us by pausing to reflect and consider how their actions matter, and how calling out harmful behaviour makes all the difference.”

After the United Steelworkers in District 3 got behind EVA and the BC Lions to promote and expand the Be More Than a Bystander program in Western Canada, the national union decided to support this national campaign, said Ken Neumann from the United Steelworkers.

“Like our partners in the CFL, we have trained a number of spokesmen to lead sessions in our locals and workplaces to call out gender-based violence and challenge the culture that nurtures it. We call on individuals and organizations across the country to join us in this mission.”

Commissioner Ambrosie added: “We know that nearly 70% of Canadians report that they know a woman who has experienced sexual or physical violence. The CFL remains committed to ending violence, and to calling out disrespect and violence where we see it. As individuals and as organizations, we all have the ability to be leaders on this issue and put a stop to violence against women.”

The Calgary Stampeders will face the Ottawa REDBLACKS this Sunday, November 25th in the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. The national championship of Canadian professional football, it will be broadcast live in Canada on TSN and RDS with kick-off at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Clare Hutchinson

Communications Coordinator, Canadian Football League

Jessica Lee

Acting Communications Manager, Ending Violence Association of Canada

Valérie Haché

Communications Officer, Status of Women Canada

Brad West

Communications Coordinator, United Steelworkers

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