Comite 12 jours


What do you consider when discussing violence against women of color? Do you think of forced marriages, female genital mutilation, so-called honor-based violence, or all other forms of violence that are now rehashed and dissected in the media? All of this violence has one thing in common: it occurs in private spaces. There is hypervisibility regarding “private” violence against women of color. This violence is excessively publicized, as it legitimizes other forms of oppression such as racism, colonialism, Islamophobia, and economic exploitation.

We are therefore entitled to ask ourselves what has become of public violence. It has multiplied, yet does not receive the same attention. Who will denounce the hypersexualization of black women in the media, the growing gendered Islamophobia that threatens the safety of thousands of women in Quebec, racial or sexual harassment, and the defamation to which women of color who dare to speak up are subjected? Where are the voices against the under-representation of women of color in employment, which constitutes economic violence?

Violence against women of color is not one that is experienced only behind closed doors or within their respective cultures as we are lead to believe. It is time to replace this exoticization with a clear observation and recognition of what they experience almost daily at work, on public transport, at the grocery store, at the university, in the media, on social networks, etc. Hiding it or refusing to witness it does not make it any less of a reality. Together, let us hear and support the voices of women of color who speak out against this violence, let us recognize the existence of this violence, condemn it, and bring it to light so that we can begin to make a change.

 Comite 12 jours


Shortly after the federal elections in 2015, the Collectif des femmes sans statutes de Montréal challenged the Prime Minister in an open letter. A year later, they are still waiting for an answer and call for a demonstration and a postcard campaign in their support.

It is estimated that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people live in Canada without status. The women among them found themselves in this situation for different reasons. Most have had their asylum applications refused. Some have been separated from their sponsors and have lost their conditional residence. Others arrived in Quebec as live-in caregivers and lost their jobs before they could apply for permanent residence. Women without status work in the shadows, they clean houses, serve in restaurants, work in the assembly line, produce food.

Living without status puts women in a very insecure situation. They do not have access to the healthcare system. They no longer have access to education, social housing, child allowances, daycare, food banks, or other services, even if they pay taxes. They live in constant fear of being detained and then deported, which makes them even more vulnerable to violence because reporting is not an option for them. Their children, born here or living here for years, are terrified by the threat of deportation, which would tear them away from their school, their comrades, and their social life, or separate them from one of their parents. Some families have already been torn apart by the deportation of a member and are waiting in anguish to be reunited.

Thousands of women without status live invisible among the population. Insecure among the precarious, they are particularly vulnerable and victims of exploitation and abuse, as women, and as individuals without status. From various origins and backgrounds, these women all have different heartbreaking stories to tell. They fight together to reject the case by case and demand the regularization of all people without status. They have chosen to speak up and make their reality visible. To date, their request to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not received a response. Today, they call on us to call on the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship to demand the regularization of all people without status to allow them a life with dignity.

 Comite 12 jours


In the fall of 2015, a report on the program "Enquête" brought to the attention of the general public the reports of police brutality against Aboriginal women in Val-d'Or. A year later, we learned that the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) will be following up on only two out of 37 charges. Native women of Quebec, supported by many groups including the Council on the Status of Women, calls for an investigation independent public, to “shed light on the relational situation between Aboriginal women and police services”.

A look at the statistics shows that Indigenous women make up 4.3% of the female population but account for 16% of murdered women in Canada. They are more likely to experience domestic violence and suffer more serious forms of it. At the same time, Aboriginal women represent 36% of incarcerated women in Canada (13% in Quebec).

To understand this over-representation, we must consider the circumstances in which Indigenous women live. Through laws and practices, such as the “Indian Law”, Indigenous people have been forced to abandon their culture and adapt to that of its colonizers. For decades, children were taken from their parents to live in residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called this practice, of which generations are dealing with today, a cultural genocide. To these historical factors, economic and social factors are added. The probability of living with an income below the low-income cut-off is twice as high among Aboriginal women as non-Aboriginal women. The number of children is higher among native women than among non-native women. Likewise, the growth of the indigenous population in the context of housing shortages makes it even more difficult for women to flee the violence they endure.

This discrimination and structural violence are crucial factors in understanding the violence experienced by indigenous women. To better take this context into account and to recognize that violence is often an intergenerational problem, Native Women of Quebec, like other Aboriginal organizations, chooses to use the expression "family violence" rather than "domestic violence".

One year after the declaration of Val-d'Or, Native Women of Quebec calls on us to support their request for a public inquiry into the relations between Native women and police institutions in Quebec. "Today, we are asking the government, the Sûreté du Québec, and other police forces in Quebec what they are going to do to restore confidence, to ensure the safety of the women of our nations, and to meet its duty of reconciliation. The Government of Quebec must listen to and collaborate with Indigenous and allied organizations and commit to being an agent of change in eliminating violence and racism within its own institutions ".

 Comite 12 jours


Even as it increases, homelessness among women remains invisible. In fact, the street is a particularly dangerous place for women: those who spend the night there are twenty times more likely than other women to be assaulted1. This is especially the case for trans women, who are at greater risk of police brutality 2. To avoid the streets, women therefore constantly move from the street to a shelter, from rented accommodation to an acquaintance's room. This is when they are particularly at risk of experiencing sexual violence from a landlord.


Homelessness among women is first and foremost a social phenomenon caused by policies that work hand in hand: cuts in social assistance or public services, lack of construction of affordable, adequate, and accessible housing, increase in insecurity within an already unequal labor market, etc. Moreover, women's poverty is structural, specifically since women occupy the majority of part-time, unstable, and lower-paid jobs. This situation worsens in retirement: 54.5% of women aged 65 overspend more than 30% of their income on rent3. Due to racist discrimination in the labor market, immigrants or women of color are not only poorer but also have to spend a greater proportion of their income on housing. In Indigenous communities, the terrible housing crisis contributes to urban migration, homelessness, or overcrowding.


Another cause of women's homelessness is linked to systemic discrimination around access to existing housing and emergency accommodation services. This is how women with disabilities have to face "a shortage of suitable housing and dedicated resources" 4. Indigenous women experience racism from landlords denying them housing. Besides, support organizations generally do not provide services in their native tongue. Trans women are routinely denied access to housing and shelters for the homeless.5


For all these reasons, we invite you to sign and distribute the petition against sexual violence experienced by female tenants to put an end to break-ins, extortion attempts, blackmail, harassment, threats, and sexual assault. !


1. The women’s street, 2010, p. 4

2. Rapsim, 2016, p. 8.

3. FRAPRU, 2015, p. 6

4. FRAPRU, 2015, p. 10


 Comite 12 jours


Recently, thousands of women in Quebec publicly denounced the sexual assaults they’ve suffered, for example as part of the "Aggressions not denounced", "We believe you" or "Without Yes It’s No" campaigns. Thanks to these, it is no longer acceptable to ignore that today 83% of victims are girls and women while 97% of alleged perpetrators are men, nor to question that only 10% of assaults are the subject of a complaint to the police. It should now be obvious that, far from being a series of isolated acts, sexual violence should rather be understood as a social phenomenon, produced, tolerated, and encouraged by rape culture. Public, police, legal, medical or even academic institutions participate directly, whether through inadequate responses, guilting victims, or protecting aggressors.

Feminist mobilizations have certainly made it possible to highlight the extent of rape culture, but the fact that sexual violence does not affect all women, in the same way, is still too often ignored by the general public. The rape culture is indeed interwoven with colonialism, ableism, racism, capitalism, lesbophobia, and even transphobia. Sexual assault primarily constitutes a seizure of power over women's bodies, and women who find themselves in the middle of several unequal social relations are thus more at risk of being assaulted. It is time to put an end to the invisibilization of violence experienced by lesbians, trans women, elderly women, women of color, indigenous women, women prostitutes/sex workers, or women with disabilities.

For example, 40% of women and girls living with a physical disability, intellectual disability, or mental health disorder and deaf women will experience at least one sexual assault in their lifetime. These girls and women are four times more likely to be attacked than women without disabilities. This violence takes different forms, ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault, from sterilization to forced abortion, from denial of sexuality to sexual abuse. The situations of dependency, created by the ableist civil organization, reinforce this vulnerability: almost a third of attacks are committed by the people who are supposed to assist these women. The respect of consent should be a right given to each of us.

Sexual violence is a social phenomenon, so it is not an unchanging situation! During the 12 days of action, feminists are mobilizing across Quebec to fight against violence and we invite you to review the calendar of actions and to participate extensively.

 Comite 12 jours

Systemic violence

Women experience violence from several oppressive systems that interact with each other such as sexism, racism, ableism (discrimination against people with disabilities), colonialism, transphobia, and heterosexism. We are tired of our society ignoring its responsibility. That’s why it’s time to exhibit the maze that many women face.

To highlight systemic violence against women, the 12 Days of Action Committee called on Montreal artist, The Creative Kay. Too often, when we talk about violence against women, we make women feel guilty: but why were you dressed like that? Don’t you think you are at risk by consuming alcohol? But why haven't you looked for help? Well, why don't you handle it? etc., etc.). But the real problem is not in women’s behavior. It is clearly in our society! This is why we have chosen to represent - not women victims of violence - but the systemic barriers that our society places against women.

We have chosen to illustrate systemic violence using three examples, among many others. In the following pages you will find:

- a page on systemic violence in the judicial system.

- a page on systemic violence in the healthcare system.

- a page on systemic violence in the economic sphere.


Do not hesitate to share your experiences and thoughts with us

You can download the comic here in paper format (11 by 17, recto-verso).

 Comite 12 jours


The 2018 campaign has the specific goal of encouraging the general public to take action.

In August 2018, the Action Plan Against Domestic Violence was revealed. In 2016, it was the government's strategy to prevent and counter sexual violence. It must be said: these two plans did not meet the expectations of the members of the Committee.

This is why we invite the population to join us, community organizations that work with women, to get involved in action against violence against women!

Do you not know how to participate in an action to advance the feminist cause?

Don't worry - the committee has some suggestions for you! For this issue, the committee is teaming up with 6 community organizations, many from regions other than Montreal, to shed light on violence against women and how to end it!

Join the movement and give a national aura to these 12 days of action!

Who are its organizations? What violence will be discussed? What are the proposed actions? The answers to all of your questions will be revealed soon ... Come back and visit the 12 Days webpage throughout the campaign to see the Committee's new videos the second they make their first on the vast web world!

1st Video :

2nd Video :

3rd Video :

4th Video :

5th Video :

6th Video :

 Comite 12 jours

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