Act To End Violence Against Women (formerly Jewish Women International of Canada- JWIC) has been a leader in the movement to end violence against women (VAW) in Canada for more than 25 years. In the mid-1980s, they identified the need for education, advocacy and action on the issue of VAW in Canada. Through their provision of critical information and practical guidance to women suffering from abuse, they quickly became known as a valuable and trusted resource in the VAW sector.
In 1989, inspired by the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam, “repairing the world”, and by a deep understanding of the cultural and religious needs of this community, they opened ASTEH, a kosher, culturally-sensitive shelter for Jewish women and their children needing to flee abusive relationships. Today, they provide shelter for women who have experienced domestic violence in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Their mission to end violence against women through education, advocacy and action is focused on youth, teens and adults across all religious and ethnic boundaries. Their goal is to stem the tide of abuse and to prevent future violence against women through increased knowledge, awareness and understanding. While they work with women and young people of all communities, they remain the de facto voice of advocacy and education for the Jewish community within the VAW sector. Origins
Act To End Violence Against Women’s origins date back to 1927 when the first Canadian chapter opened in Windsor, Ontario as B’nai Brith Women of Eastern Canada. In 1968, they became B’nai Brith Women of Canada. Their work to improve the quality of life for women, children and families in Canada and in Israel continued through the mid-1990's when they re-named the organization Jewish Women International of Canada (JWIC), affiliated with the American organization Jewish Women International. As their work became more specialized within the VAW sector and their focus expanded to include women and young people of all religious and ethnic communities, they re-branded our organization to more clearly reflect our work. In the fall of 2011, they launched their new brand: Act To End Violence Against Women.
Historically, they have been a member and chapter-based organization with more than 800 life members and numerous chapters across Canada. As they evolve, they continue to encourage member participation and offer alternative methods of engagement through social media, hands-on volunteering, project work, event attendance and financial support.
Canadian students attend a conference, "Sexual Assault on Campus... Exposing the Truth," in November 2007