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the smallest steps: Ending Violence Against Women in Canada

Blog/FavouritesMay 12th 2023
Sharang Sharma

Even the smallest steps can lead to big change. Come down to CityLAB Hamilton this Monday, May 15th at 12:30PM to watch the Hamilton premiere of the smallest steps, a documentary about ending violence against women in Canada. 

The film follows two law students and two survivors of violence as they take a stand and join the anti-violence movement, learning how to be activists. In the film, veteran activists, including some Hamiltonians, explore the historical context of the anti-violence movement and teach us about what it means to have a voice for those whose voices are often suppressed. They teach us about what it means to be an activist. 

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"This film is a history lesson, a primer on topics within violence against women, and a set of examples for what folks can do to push for change. For me, this film is also part of my activist journey. By watching the women I've filmed grow, I've learned the skills and resilience for doing this work. In the end, I hope this film will be a gift to current and future generations who want to end violence and achieve full equality and freedom for all.” -- Nicole Bedford, director and co-producer of the smallest steps.

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“For me, this film began as an attempt to capture the knowledge and accumulated wisdom of long-time feminist anti-violence activists as they retire and leave the movement, taking all that knowledge with them. We have made important progress on ending violence against women, but the job is not yet done. We hope, through this film, to inspire others to join us, to pass on some of what we have learned, and empower the next generation of activists to accomplish the goal of ending violence against women once and for all.” -- Leighann Burns, co-producer of the smallest steps.

The documentary was co-created by long-time feminist activist Leighann Burns and Hamilton-raised filmmaker and first-time featured director Nicole Bedford. 

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"This film is a history lesson, a primer on topics within violence against women, and a set of examples for what folks can do to push for change."

The premiere is free and open to the public, with pay-what-you-can donations accepted. It will be followed by a networking reception with anti-violence organizations such as: 

  • McMaster University - Gender and Social Justice Program 

  • McMaster University - Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office 

  • YWCA Hamilton 

  • Woman Abuse Working Group (WAWG) & Women Against Violence Empowering Survivors (WAVES) survivor's advisory group  

  • John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington & Area, Victim Services – HPS 

  • Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton Niagara, Indigenous Victim Services 

  • Hamilton Regional Indian Centre 

  • Interval House of Hamilton 

  • Immigrants Working Centre 

  • Native Women’s Centre 

  • Mission Services of Hamilton - Inasmuch House 

  • Willow’s Place 

  • Emma’s Place 

  • Nisa Homes Hamilton 

The event was organized with the support of many hamilton organizers and organizations including McMaster University's Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, McMaster University's Gender and Social Justice Program, Pauline Kajiura of Intersecting: Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Consultant, the Woman Abuse Working Group (WAWG), the City of Hamilton, and YWCA Hamilton.