Silence is Violence aims to radically alter the culture of institutional violence on university campuses across Canada. The group is experientially led, meaning that all initiatives and recommendations from the group come from those who have lived with sexual and gendered violence. This approach is more than merely ‘survivor-centric’ as those who have experienced sexual violence are placed in decision-making and leadership roles.
Silence is Violence has a limited mandate, mobilizing in response to pervasive sexual and gendered violence on post-secondary campuses. Specifically, we focus on the institutional and systemic failures in adequately implementing policy and procedure for redressing cases of sexual violence and re-traumatizing persons who have experienced assault.
While Silence is Violence has loudly proclaimed our intolerance for sexual violence and some of our members have shared their personal stories publicly, we support each individual's right to define whether and to what extent they want to discuss their own experience(s). The silence that we wish to combat is one perpetuated and encouraged by powerful institutions and not the silence that some folks who have experienced sexual violence choose or are forced to maintain.
We take an anti-carceral and pro-intersectional feminist approach to our work. We do not advocate for the further securitization of our university campuses or the further criminalization of racialized community members on our campus.
We argue that the increase of police and security presence does more harm and fails to adequately address the root causes of sexual and gendered violence in our community. We acknowledge that the material consequences of the culture of sexual/gendered violence on campuses are magnified for those living at the intersections of gender and race, class, ability, sexual identity, or any other means of marking some bodies as ‘different’.