Be more than a bystander: District 3 members can apply for a training opportunity to tackle violence against women
Posted 2017-Nov-17

The initiative "Be More Than a Bystander" is organized by the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) in partnership with the BC Lions. It aims at increasing awareness and understanding about the impact of men's violence against women, and since 2011, the program has already trained over 100,000 people in British Columbia. This year, USW District 3 is partnering to "Break the Silence".


"Research has indicated that domestic violence does not stay at home when employees go to work and the losses to employers, resulting from spousal violence, amounts to tens of millions of dollars," says Betty Carrasco, National Vice-President of the TWU, USW National Local 1944, and Chair of the Women of Steel Committee. "That is why, as a union, it is important that we educate our members to speak up and break violence against women."

The three-day intensive ‘train the trainer' course will be provided by an experienced EVA BC trainer with participation from the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers players. It will cover the following:

1. Overview of Violence Against Women

  • Understand the incidence of sexual assault, domestic violence and sexual harassment in Canada
  • Understand the historic role of women's leadership in this area
  • Understand the partnerships this program is built upon
  • Understand the basics of the psychological impacts of gender-based violence to build empathy
  • Understand why women rarely come forward
  • Understand the various impacts on communities such as Indigenous women, immigrant and refugee women, women who live with disabilities and others

2. Understanding the Response System

  • Have basic knowledge related to what anti-violence programs do: Crisis response; Empowering approaches; Assisting with reporting; Supporting women to get medical attention; Making effective referrals and other advocacy
  • Have basic skills to respond appropriately to a disclosure themselves in the immediate, such as during or after a presentation. They will know what to do, what to say and where to refer.
  • Understand the laws surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, including sexual consent.

3. The Bystander Model: Have in-depth understanding of the bystander intervention model including:

  • Why these are men's issues
  • What role socialized masculinity plays towards violence in society
  • What is sexism and misogyny
  • The pressure to be tough and not empathic
  • Media literacy and understanding the role of media in establishing and maintaining social norms
  • The power of men stepping in and speaking up
  • The role of bystander intervention as a men's leadership issue
  • Know what options there are to speak up/interrupt abuse and violence; with people they know and with strangers

The successful applicants will attend a training session being held at the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School on February 13 - 16, 2018, in Harrison Hot Springs, BC. All costs will be covered by the USW District 3.

"It is only through education that we can expect to change attitudes regarding violence against women," says Lee Riggs, National President of the TWU, USW National Local 1944.

Download your application form here.

Please send your completed application form by email no later than Monday, November 27th, 2017 at 4:30 pm, to National President of the TWU, USW National Local 1944 Lee Riggs, c/o

For more information about the "Be More Than a Bystander" campaign, please visit:

In Solidarity,

The Telecommunications Workers Union, United Steelworkers National Local 1944