Unifor raises $137,000 to aid domestic violence victims

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Unifor has raised a record breaking $137,000, so far, for Halton Women’s Place in a ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk today led by Unifor National President Jerry Dias and his son Jordan.  

“These much needed funds will provide safe shelter and services to women and children escaping domestic violence at a time when many have been forced to isolate with their abusers,” said Dias. ”We’ve seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic so in addition to raising money our goal is to also raise awareness about the ongoing violence that thousands of women across the country are experiencing.”

This year the annual ‘Hope in High Heels’ walks were modified due to COVID-19. Unifor opted to hold a walk with a limited number of socially distanced men at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto.

“Every year I am overwhelmed by the dedication and passion that Jerry, Jordan and their Unifor team show at our walk events,” said Carm Bozzo, Manager of Development & Communications for Halton Women’s Place. “It is just amazing to see these men come out every September and stand up against women abuse and raise such an incredible amount of money that directly supports the women and children who use our services. This year, this is so important as fundraising events have been cancelled and majorly shifted because of COVID-19.  Thank you, Jerry, Jordan and Unifor!”

Halton Women’s Place provides shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children. To date Dias and his team have raised more than $830,000 in Hope in High Heels events. Dias thanked the many Unifor employers and partners who made generous contribution this year, even amid the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

“This is about helping survivors rebuild their lives, but it’s also about men taking responsibility to end gender-based violence and promote equity” said Dias who led participants in a pledge against violence. “Women are most vulnerable right after they leave an abusive partner and often the one place the abuser knows they can find them is at their job which is why our union has worked to create supports within our workplaces.”

Unifor has made it a bargaining priority to negotiate the union’s ground-breaking Women’s Advocate Program, which trains workplace representatives to assist women with issues including workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse.