Sunday December 6, 2020 | BC & NATIONAL
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This is the 31st anniversary of the day back on December 6, 1989 when 14 women were murdered (and others wounded, both men and women) when a shooting driven by misogynistic motives was carried out at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.
Violence against women is not just physical, it is also psychological and social in ways that impede women from financial and social success.
“This misogynist act brought the dangers of sexism to the forefront of Canada’s consciousness, forcing us to reckon with the real-life consequences of sexist attitudes that harm women and hold them back every day,” it was stated in a BC Government news release today from Premier John Horgan and BC’s new Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Grace Lore.
The 14 women who were killed that day in 1989 are not to be forgotten, they were: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.
“Let’s also commit to supporting and believing survivors of gender-based violence, while working together to build a better future,” said Lore.
“This year, the country grieved again with the murders of nine men and 13 women and girls in Nova Scotia at the hands of a man with a history of violence toward his partner. This tragedy is a grim reminder that often, intimate partner violence is a precursor to further violence outside of the home,” it was outlined in the BC government statement.
“This year has been particularly hard for women in dangerous situations. The COVID-19 pandemic has put women at greater risk of violence by increasing risk factors associated with men’s violence toward women. It has also reduced women’s contacts and resources – both in and outside the home,” said Lore.
The BC government has a well-articulated stance: “Lives depend on us taking action. We are working on an action plan to help end gender-based violence in British Columbia. This plan will recognize the connections between gender-based violence and other key government policies, including new standards for services, better training for people working in the justice system and more stable, secure funding for sexual assault centres.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement:
Out of Ottawa today, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement, including:
“The safety of women must be the foundation of any society. Yet still today, too many women, girls, and people of diverse gender identities and expressions face violence and discrimination in Canada and around the world. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that they can live without injustice, without misogyny, and without fear. That is why today is part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, encouraging us to reflect and take concrete action to prevent, denounce, and eliminate violence against women.”
“Gender-based violence has no place in our communities or our country, and the Government of Canada is continuing to implement a national action plan to address it. This plan must ensure that survivors, their families, and all those who face gender-based violence have reliable and timely access to protection, support services, and justice. The government also continues to collaborate closely with its partners to develop a national action plan to address the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and LGBTQ people.”
Different during COVID:
Last year white ribbons were provided by donation for people to wear in remembrance on December 6. During COVID that sort of effort has been suspended. Last year there was a candlelight memorial at the BC Legislature.
Editorial: Thankful for continued sociological change (October 11, 2020)
The candlelight vigil at the BC Legislature (December 6, 2019)