Sponsor Me to the Mountains: End VAW

We, The Learn Earn & Return Outsiders, come to you today with great enthusiasm and a hopeful heart.
 
Our mission is to shed light on a pervasive injustice and connect with the public to re-educate and empower communities to recognize and exercise anti-violence. Led by Dr. Roz Roach, The Learn, Earn & Return Outsiders will be hiking 300 kilometers through Vancouver, British Columbia, to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of violence against women and funds for Anti-Violence initiatives and programs.

UPDATE: We complete 300km across Vancouver! Over 70 direct public contacts have been made along the way and we are going to continue. Some of our team members are sharing some reflections that came up during the hike.

“Recently I spent a week in Vancouver with 3 strong women, with a goal of walking over 300 km around Vancouver in order to spread awareness of putting an end to violence against women and girls.  I was asked why I wanted to participate in this trip.  
Growing up, I was a fun loving, confident and independent person and always looking for the next adventure.  While travelling around Europe in my early 20’s, I met a man who I thought was “the one.”  The relationship grew very quickly and before I knew it the relationship changed. I found myself now in a relationship where I was being manipulated, controlled, emotionally and financially abused.  I stayed with this man in England for 6 long years.  I finally found the strength to return to Canada, without him, but I was now just a shell of myself.  My confidence had slipped away, my self esteem was gone, I had no sense of self worth and did not trust anyone. Around this time, I met Dr. Roz and learned of the good work she does to help women and children fleeing violence and abuse.  She helped me find myself again. She helped me realize that it was not my fault and there is no need to be ashamed.  I have kept in touch with Dr. Roz for many years now and was excited when she told me of her next venture.  Dr. Roz and her team were going to hike 300 km across Vancouver in order to help raise awareness and educate others about putting an end to violence against women.  I wanted to be a part of this journey. 
It took a long time for me to heal and to learn that no one has the right to take away your sense of self, and all women and girls have the right to live a life free from abuse.  I wanted to be a part of this Vancouver hiking team to help deliver this message.” – M.
 

“In 2008 we did a similar journey, hiking 470 km across China.  Someone will ask, do you see any changes? My answer is “no”.  Fourteen years later, we are still trying to bring awareness. We still know that 85% of victims are not reporting, we know that in some countries women are not seen as equals, we know that violence against women is considered a family and private issue. What is the solution? I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I know prevention is better than cure.  We continue to talk and educate as this is a health issue.  The journey of bringing awareness continues.” – G.
 
In 2018, 44% of women in Canada reported experiencing some form of psychological, physical, or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. Every SIX days, a woman in Canada is killed. Organizations around the globe have reported that domestic violence has drastically increased/ worsened since the onset of the pandemic. The impact of violence is long-lasting, forever affecting survivors and the very fabric of our society. Abuse often leaves behind terrible injuries, leads to physical and mental illness, deteriorates self-worth, dismantles families and damages future relationships – if women make it out alive.
 
We recognize that both crisis response and public education are imperative to manifest real change in society. Movement is one of the most simple and natural ways that we can heal both our bodies and minds. All experiences are stored in the body, and movement allows us to process and release them.
 
The Learn, Earn & Return Outsiders is a group of women who gather regularly to hike outdoors and raise funds to support anti-violence initiatives and programs. We gather periodically throughout the year to organize outdoor hikes to engage in public education and community outreach. In 2008, we hiked 470km across China to commemorate the lives of the fourteen women killed in the 1989 massacre at École Polytechnique in Montréal.
 

Organizer

Roz Roach
Organizer
Markham, ON

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