This Mother’s Day, Raise Your Voice to End State-Sanctioned Violence Against Women


On May 10, 2019, I attended Elizabeth Fry Toronto’s public event, Writing Against Violence, part of a national campaign run by Elizabeth Fry Societies and their partner organizations to raise awareness and demand action against the violent practice of strip searching in women’s prisons.

70 percent of incarcerated women are mothers. In an act of solidarity with these women and their fellow female inmates, this Canada-wide event took place just before Mother’s Day.

The Supreme Court of Canada has described strip searches as “inherently humiliating and degrading.” Nevertheless, it is widely used in Canadian prisons, turns up little to no contraband and serves only to victimize female inmates, 90 percent of whom have survived violence and are living with trauma.

If it took place outside of prison walls, it would be called exactly what it is--sexual assault.

Read this op-ed from the staff of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies to learn exactly how strip searches are conducted and why they are calling out this inhumane practice as a form of state-sanctioned violence against women.

Raise your voice to end strip-searching in women’s prisons

Elizabeth Fry encourages you to support the campaign through a tweet, email, mailed letter or call to your MP.

If tweeting, be sure to tag the Minister of Public Safety @RalphGoodale, the correctional service of Canada @CSC_SCC_en, and the Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau in your message and use the hashtags #HearMeToo AND #EndStripSearching OR #EndStateSanctionedSexualAssault.

Ramak Jaberi

Ramak JaberiComment