Submitted The Moving Mountains men’s group fall hiking retreat. Supported by the Columbia Basin Trust and Revelstoke Credit Union in partnership with Open Mountains Project.

Focus on men in Revelstoke helps decrease violence against women

Emily Kemp

Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society

Violence against women is an issue for everyone and as we remember the 14 women killed in Montreal on December 6, 1989, we look at how Revelstoke’s focus on men’s issues helps in the long-term.

One of the biggest successes for the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society this year has been the creation of its men’s program, Moving Mountains.

The group is a social network that gathers for activities and is a place for men to turn to for support. Ages currently range from 25 to over-80.

“We have a consistent group who like to get together,” coordinator Taha Attiah said. “It’s slowly growing. Having the group allows guys to take their mind off things or if they want to talk, there’s myself and others there to do that.”

READ MORE: New men’s group in Revelstoke

Allowing men to express their unique qualities and stories through this type of group combats the toxic culture of masculinity.

The term ‘toxic masculinity’ has been used since around 2016 as discussions around gender and abuse heightened with the election of President Trump and the impact of the #MeToo movement.

The toxic culture of masculinity is about the impacts of pushing specific gender roles. Women have fought to remove many confining beliefs and men also suffer from exaggerated expectations of their gender. These include being unemotional, sexually aggressive and using violence to solve problems or express anger and frustration.

This Thursday, Dec. 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It goes back to 1989 to an event that shaped the conversations we have today.

The 14 women killed in 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. (Submitted)

Fourteen women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal were killed specifically because of their gender. The majority were engineering students in their early twenties with future aspirations and plans to live full lives.

Their killer, 25-year-old Marc Lepine, suffered from mental health issues and blamed feminists for the difficulties he had faced in his life.

In 1991 a handful of men in Toronto decided they had a responsibility to urge other men to speak out about abuse. They wore white ribbons as a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

Men are a vital part in reducing violence against women. While the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter received funds to launch the Moving Mountains group, the shelter is otherwise hands-off in the group’s direction.

Moving Mountains will be heading indoors for the winter but for the meantime, with the support of the Aboriginal Friendship Society and Revelstoke Forestry Museum’s Brian Sumner, they will still gather for the Men’s Fire Group.

“We decide what we want to do, such as woodworking more recently, or axe throwing,” Attiah said. “The Men’s Fire Group was a natural fit, so we attend that regularly.”

With groups like Moving Mountains and opening up the conversation about our personal struggles and mental health, it helps remove the taboo of suffering. To get involved with Moving Mountains, contact Taha Attiah at MovingMountains@telus.com.

Just Posted

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

WildsafeBC comes to the Okanagan to reduce wildlife conflict

Bear activity on the Westside has been an issue in the past few weeks

Line up for Revelstoke Summer Street Fest announced

The line up for Revelstoke Summer Street Fest has been announced! Starting… Continue reading

Revelstoke Secondary School celebrates Pride Day

Students at Revelstoke Secondary School celebrated their first ever Pride Day on… Continue reading

BC Book Award finalists coming to Revelstoke Library

Two finalists of BC Book prizes will be visiting and reading at… Continue reading

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Okanagan medical cannabis shop shutting doors

Herb’s Health Centre has been operating without a city business licence for nearly a year

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Okanagan city to give out fines for sitting on sidewalk

Residents of Penticton will soon be fined for sitting or laying on sidewalks

Most Read