How International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Came To Be

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and people around the world will come together to commemorate and address this issue on a global scale. 

The day was first recognized in 1999 when the United Nations General Assembly passed the resolution, introduced by the Dominican Republic, designating November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. However, the United Nations (UN) was not the first to do this. Women in Latin America and the Caribbean have been honouring the day since 1981. The reason for the day was to mark the anniversary of three women political activists who were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on November 25th 1960 for opposing the regime of dictator Rafael Trujillo. 

The UN officially recognized the date on February 7th 2000, and the United Nations General Assembly encouraged organizations around the world to raise awareness yearly on the date. 

Unlike an illness or disease which groups of people have no control over, ending violence against women is a movement that everyone can bring awareness to. Tragedies like the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre, where a man killed 14 women in a Montreal university should never happen. As a society, we should bring awareness and support initiatives such as The Spotlight Initiative, so history doesn’t repeat itself. 

Elpizo offers a wide range of services for women who have recently or in their past experienced violence and sexual violence. We provide comprehensive counselling and therapy solutions such as Rapid Resolution Therapy that will eliminate emotional and behavioural difficulties. These options are offered online and in-person, and with all our therapeutic options, we work with you to make sure you get the treatment you need.

The 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign that takes place every year. It runs from November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to December 10th, Human Rights Day.

Launched in 2008, the UNiTE Campaign aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world. This is done by calling on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing and fighting against the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. 

COVID-19, the quarantine, lockdowns, and social isolation have negatively influenced mental health and increased risks of family violence and conflict. It is a critical time for women being affected by gender-based violence. 

From November 25 to December 10, the UN’s System’s 16-Day Activism against gender-based violence is taking place under the 2020 global theme: “ Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

The main principles of the UNiTE Campaign Advocacy are:

  1. Honour and acknowledge women’s movements
  2. ‘Leave no one behind’
  3. Survivor-centered
  4. Multi-sectoral
  5. Transformative
  6. Elevate the voices of young feminists
  7. The colour orange continues to be a key tool; unifying all activities

In order to support and be a part of the change, join UNiTE on The 16 Days of Activism and help speak out, unite with partners around the world, reflect on what we can all do in our own communities to eliminate violence faced by young girls, women, and the LGBTQ2 community. Start conversations on social media and become an ally by listening, believing, speaking out, intervening, and acting on what is going on and how you can help.

If you would like to learn more about International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and current UN efforts to fight violence against women, click here.

Safety Planning for Victims of Domestic Abuse

It might seem overwhelming to prepare a safety plan when you wish to leave an abusive relationship. Here are some tips for those who are thinking about starting their path to a safer place: 

  • If it is safe to do so, always have a phone accessible and know what numbers to call for help, including friends or family and your local shelter. Know where the nearest public phone is located. 
  • Plan and practice with your children and identify a safe place where they can go during moments of crisis, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house.  
  • Back your car into your driveway when you park at home and ensure your gas is at a full tank. If possible, keep the driver’s door unlocked with the rest of the doors locked to allow for quick access to the vehicle. 
  • Let trusted friends and neighbors know about your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you might need their help. Give them clear instructions on who you do or do not want them to contact in moments of crisis, including law enforcement. 
  • When preparing to go to a shelter, if you can, call ahead to see what the shelter’s policies are. They can give you information on how they can help, and how to secure a space when it’s time to leave. 
  • Have a backup plan if your partner finds out about your plan. 
  • What to bring:  
    • Driver’s license or Ontario Photo Card 
    • Social insurance card 
    • Health card 
    • Birth certificate and children’s birth certificates 
    • Financial information 
    • Money and/or credit cards (in your name) 
    • Checking and/or savings account books 
    • Protective order, if applicable 
    • Copies of any lease or rental agreements or the deed to your home 
    • Car registration and insurance papers 
    • Health and life insurance papers 
    • Medical records for you and your children 
    • School records 
    • Work permits/passport/visas/immigration papers 
    • Any legal documents, including divorce and custody papers 
    • Marriage license 
    • Medications and refills (if possible) 
    • Emergency items, like food, bottles of water, and a first aid kit 
    • Multiple changes of clothes for you and your children 
    • Emergency money 
    • Address book 
    • Extra sets of house and car keys 
    • Pictures and sentimental items 
    • Valuable items, such as jewelry 
    • Safe cell phone, if necessary 
    • Numbers of your attorney, local domestic violence program or shelter, local doctor’s office and hospital, criminal legal resources, children’s school

You might want to consider keeping copies of these items at a friend’s place so it won’t raise suspicion if found by your abuser and in case your abuser decides to destroy these items as they may anticipate your plan to escape.

 No matter the severity of your situation, just know that you are not overreacting or being drastic. Signs of abuse can begin to show up in small ways, so it’s important to be mindful, watchful and prepared at all costs. You are not alone. There is a world of support to help and encourage you through your circumstance.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website at:

What is Domestic Violence?

For international domestic violence awareness month, we are here to help bring awareness to what domestic violence and abuse is. Domestic abuse is an incident or multiple incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening or violent behaviour. Common cases of domestic violence include sexual violence by a partner or ex-partner, or physical abuse by a family member. 

Some examples of domestic abuse may include:

  • Coercive control
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Women are more likely than men to experience different types of domestic abuse, typically sexual violence, but that does not mean that men do not experience it as well.

How can I tell if I’m in an abusive relationship?

If your partner has ever been physically or emotionally abusive to you in any form, has often stalked you, unjustly accuse you of things, or try to take control of you – that may indicate that you are experiencing domestic abuse.

How can I tell if I am being abused at home?

If anyone, no matter who they are or where you are, has ever put their hands on you or has hurt you in any form, not just physically, and you might not feel safe around this person at all times, this may indicate that you are being physically/emotionally abused.

It is common to have arguments, fights, disagreements, etc. with your partner, family members, or people close to you. But if this becomes a consistent pattern or you often feel scared or in danger around these people, you should really consider getting help or talking to someone about it.

You are not alone. You can easily get help and support without judgement. There are plenty of platforms where you can virtually receive help through live chats, online handbooks, survivors forums, or counselling services like we offer at Elpizo.

Career & Professional Life Balancing

Is your work-life and personal life balanced?

Why is it important to balance your career and personal life? Anyone and everyone who is currently working, needs to find the perfect balance between their work-life and their personal life priorities. 


How can you tell if your work-life and personal life are properly balanced? You can find out by taking this short quiz:


  1. I am constantly stressed and feel like my whole life is out of balance. 
  1. True
  2. False
  1. I don’t get to spend much time with my friends/family.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. I don’t have a proper “me-day” or a good amount of time for myself to unplug weekly.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. My daily life is pretty unorganized and I tend to just go with the flow without having a proper schedule.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. I tend to work longer hours than anticipated.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. My responsibilities at home have increased.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. My overall physical, emotional and mental health is currently not in a good state.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. Work from home has increased my work hours and decreased my productivity.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. With the new ‘work-from-home’ normal, I can’t draw a line between professional or personal life.
  1. True
  2. False
  1. My social circle only consists of my work friends.
  1. True
  2. False

After taking this quiz, if you answered with mostly “A” ‘s, you may need to start thinking about boundaries that you have set, or need to set, and to think about what your top priorities should be. 


Click here to find 6 tips for better work-life balance.





[Is your work-life and personal life properly balanced out? Take this quiz to find out!]

Elpizo Joins The Fight Against Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Breast cancer is the most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death for Canadian women. The National Breast Cancer Foundation reported that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. This October Elpizo is joining the fight and helping to make a difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer.

An interesting fact about breast cancer is that the left breast seems to develop cancer more often than the right breast, which scientists have yet to figure out why. Also, men can develop breast cancer too. Less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men and each year in Canada, approximately 220 men are diagnosed with breast cancer – having approximately 60 men die from the disease.

There are many ways for you to contribute to the fight against breast cancer and support those currently battling it:

  1. Self Breast Examination: Breast self-exams are important for the early detection of any cancer,, they do not take up too much time and it’s not painful or uncomfortable. Click here to watch a quick video on how to do a breast self-exam.
  2. Education: There are many free and informative articles, websites, and ebooks you can check out to learn about breast cancer and the effects it has on men and women. Simply do a Google search for ‘breast cancer’ and you’ll have a world of information that is just one click away.
  3. Donations: A little can go a long way and anything is always appreciated! You can donate to screening and treatment centres or organizations that support breast cancer research.
  4. Support: You can now virtually volunteer by hosting online fundraisers and spreading the word + sharing the news about breast cancer awareness.
  5. Be positive and hopeful: Being open and sharing your stories about how you or someone you know have been affected by breast cancer. Wearing a pink ribbon will also help spread awareness and get the conversations starting! 

To all our cancer warriors, Elpizo is fighting with you in hope. On October 25th, Elpizo will be hosting a yoga session at 11 am, followed by a paint and sip on October 30th time to be confirmed.

Come join us in the fight against breast cancer by spreading the word and bringing awareness to this disease. If you would like to make a donation for cancer research, visit our Facebook page and donate funds through our Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser

Brand New: Elpizo Refreshes Brand & Continues to Spread Hope

With fall just starting and winter coming at lightning speed, Elpizo Counselling Service is happy to announce a refresh to a brand that has supported their community for more than 19 years. We are Elpizo and are very excited to showcase this new look for the company and invite everyone to take a look at our website and social media to see the changes. 

Many changes come from this new look like our enhanced, blue and orange colours. The blue represents loyalty, intelligence, faith, tranquillity and calmness. While the orange compliments the blue and represents determination, success, encouragement, and stimulation. We believe that these colours represent Elpizo the best as we embrace these ideals every time we interact with a client or partner.

The Executive Director of Elpizo, Ruth Baah-Gyebi has been very excited about this new era at Elpizo and had this to say. “Our new mission and vision statements “Building hope, renewing strength, supporting healing and enriching lives” captures the essence, core and character of Elpizo”. 

Aside from the colours, there are many other things that you might take notice of. The website has been refreshed and is now easier to navigate for our clients and partners. We will also be producing more content to bring awareness and information to people interested in counselling and therapy on our website as well as Youtube. 
One thing is for sure, even though Elpizo may look different, we are still providing reliable and engaging service to clients. We will always make sure that the clients’ needs come first during every session while at the same time making sure we are accessible through unprecedented times. If you would like a free consultation please feel free to contact us at this link

3 Reasons Why Experienced Therapists Choose Elpizo

At Elpizo, we are looking to expand our family of therapists to make sure we are keeping up with the demand of our clients. We take pride in offering affordable and accessible counselling services in a confidential and safe environment for all people from all walks of life. Experienced therapists from around the country love being part of our team, and here are three reasons why:

We Work as a Family

When we say “family”, we mean that you’ll be working in an understanding, communicative and teamwork environment. We meet together every week in a group setting to check in with each other. We see how each therapist’s cases are going and we teach and mentor our younger therapists. As a team, we are very supportive and encouraging of each other to be the best person you can be for your client. 

Professional Development

We take professional growth seriously at Elpizo, so we make sure that you have the best supervision possible. Not only do we have weekly group meetings, but supervisors will have one-on-ones with our therapists to check in on their current cases and give support where needed. There are also a plethora of training opportunities such as premarital counselling, Rapid Resolution Therapy Training, Egan Stages of Counselling and much more.

We Celebrate

It’s not always work at Elpizo, we also like to take time to celebrate with our team. No matter what the holiday is whether it is a Christmas or Thanksgiving we celebrate with a purpose. We also make sure that each of our therapists feels loved and special on their birthdays! No matter what the holiday is, we make sure we get together because in the end, we are a family.

If you are an experienced therapist and you are considering joining a well-rounded and supportive counselling team, then you’re in the right place. Read more about our opening for experienced therapists here and email us your resume to apply to