Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers!

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 2007, the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) is organizing a public, arts-based demonstration against electroshock (“electroconvulsive therapy”, “ECT”) therapy specifically for its use on women.

The public mistakenly believes that electroshock is a treatment that was only used in the past. In fact, the use of shock has increased in Canada and the United States during the last 10 years.

The two main targets of this destructive psychiatric procedure are women who have recently given birth, and women 60 years and older. With women electroshocked two to three times as often as men, with the physical and emotional damage wrought by electroshock well established, and with the complicity of the state clear, we are declaring electroshock a form of state-sponsored violence against women.

We see Mother’s Day as the appropriate day for the protest because it is about mothers and because of Mother’s Day’s initial and powerful connection with activism, especially peace activism.  At the same time, we are aware and respect that people like to spend time alone with their family on this day. Accordingly, our demonstration will be afternoon, with the idea of not intruding on women’s breakfast, brunch, and dinner with their family on that day. Additionally, the event will be byo-mag (bring your own mother and grandmother); byob (bring your own baby); and byop (bring your own partner). Indeed, we are encouraging people to invite all family, relatives, and friends to attend with them.

Shock survivors, feminists, and human rights activists assert that electroshock is a form of psychiatric assault and elder abuse – violence against women. The use of electroshock is an extremely serious violation of our human rights and it should be universally banned.

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1 comment so far

  1. […] was the CAPA press conference, held in the media studio at Queen’s Park, in advance of Sunday’s Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers demonstration and rally. CAPA director, Bonnie Burstow, anti-psychiatry activist Don Weitz, and shock survivor Paivi Laine […]


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