The Winnipeg Blue Bombers partnered with the Manitoba government and Status of Women Canada to Break the Silence on Violence against Women. This initiative is a two-part project featuring a public awareness campaign and youth education program. Since 2016, trained Winnipeg Blue Bomber players deliver 20 presentations and 20 workshops per year to high school students, football teams, coaching staff, and community leaders.

To find out how your school or team can participate in the Break the Silence on Violence against Women program, contact Manitoba Status of Women and Status of Women Canada provided support for this initiative.

History of the Break the Silence program:
In 2012, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Manitoba government launched a series of PSAs and promotional material for Manitoba Status of Women’s Stop the Violence campaign. This campaign, named Be More Than a Bystander: Break the Silence on Violence Against Women, was a result of a priority outlined in Manitoba’s Multi-Year Domestic Violence Prevention Strategy (2012) under Engaging Men as Allies: “launch an ongoing campaign featuring sports celebrities speaking out about violence against women, including social media components.”

The Bombers and Manitoba Status of Women jointly produced videos of players issuing a call to all men, urging them to become allies of women, all with their own key messages. Topics included sexual assault statistics, being “one of the guys,” gender-based violence, damage to children, sharing explicit images, and family violence. These videos and posters were added to the province’s “Stop the Violence Toolkit,” which included downloadable PDFs and sample Tweets for social media. One of the marquee players featured in the videos, Chris Cvetkovic, was trained by Jackson Katz on gender violence and went on to be an ambassador for Manitoba Status of Women.

Special thanks

The ‘Be More Than a Bystander’ theme is used with permission from the Ending Violence Association of B.C. and the B.C. Lions Football Club who created the tagline as part of their campaign to break the silence surrounding violence against women in British Columbia.

Our first year: 2016-2017

In the program’s inaugural year, Bombers players visited 10 high schools in Manitoba and delivered an assembly and a workshop at each. Overall, we reached more than 5,000 youth through this program.

In post-presentation surveys, 83% of students reported an increase in awareness of the issue of violence against women in Manitoba, and 97% of respondents said they would be more than a bystander if they saw a woman or a girl being harassed in their community.

The following schools have participated in our program – thank you!:

Erickson Collegiate (Erickson, MB)
Kelvin High School (Winnipeg)
River East Transcona (Winnipeg)
Kildonan East Transcona (Winnipeg)
Grant Park High School (Winnipeg)
Berens River School (Berens River First Nation)
Brokenhead Obijway First Nation
Alonsa School (Alonsa, MB)
Green Valley Collegiate (Grunthal, MB)
Duke of Marlborough School, Churchill, MB
Thicket Portage School, Thicket Portage MB
Pikwitonei School, Pikwitonei, MB
Julie Lindal School, Ilford, MB
Mel Johnson School, Wabowden, MB
Gillam School, Gillam, MB
Gypsumville School, Gypsumville, MB
Waterhen School, Waterhen, MB
Rorketon School, Rorketon, MB
Lakefront School, Crane River, MB
Philomene Chartrand School, Camperville, MB
Chan Kagha Otina Dakota Wayawa Tipi School Birdtail, MB
Wanipigow School, Wanipigow, MB
San Antonio School, Bissett, MB
Berens River School, Berens River, MB
Stevenson Island School, Stevenson Island, MB
Falcon Beach School, Falcon Lake, MB
Black River Anishinabe School, O’Hanley, MB
Cold Lake School, Sherridon MB
Cormorant Lake School, Cormorant MB
Cranberry Portage Elementary, Cranberry Portage, MB
Frontier Mosakahiken School, Moose Lake MB
Joseph H. Kerr School, Snow Lake MB
Grand Rapids School, Grand Rapids, MB
Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource
Centre Norway House
Jack River School, Norway House, MB
Brochet School
Leaf Rapids Education Centre
Oscar Blackburn School, South Indian Lake, MB
West Lynn Heights School
Maples Met School
R.D. Parker Collegiate, Thompson
Garden City Collegiate
Kelvin High School
Maples Collegiate
St. James Collegiate
Hugh John MacDonald School
Grant Park High School
Elmwood High School
Shaftesbury High School
Churchill High School
Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute
Oak Park High School
École Lorette Collegiate
St. Maurice School
Fort Richmond Collegiate
Vincent Massey Collegiate
St. Paul’s High School, Elie

Organizational visits:
Wahbung Abinoonjiiag
Alpha House Project

2018 Videos

Snow Lake Visit

Break the Silence | Jackson Katz

Thomas Miles

Matthias Goossen – Time Apart

Chris Randle

Josh Rush

Justin Medlock

Buck Pierce – Help Stop Sex Trafficking

Buck Pierce – How You Can Help