Reflecting on violence against women

The assaulted women and children’s counsellor advocate program will lead the vigil to remember the 14 women who lost their lives on Dec. 6, 1989

Memorial plaque of the École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal.

Memorial plaque of the École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal. Photo: Wikipedia

On Dec. 6, 1989, a gunman with a hatred for feminists and archaic ideals of gender-based roles intentionally and systematically shot and killed 14 women at L’Ecole Polytechnique, the school of engineering at the University of Montreal. A suicide note declaring his anger towards women was found and witnesses stated that he had shouted, “I want the women – I hate feminists!” just before dividing up a classroom by gender and shooting the women present.

On Dec. 8, the assaulted women and children’s counsellor advocate (AWCCA) program will lead the George Brown College (GBC) community in a vigil and discussion for Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on gender-based violence.

This year’s event slogan is, “25 Years of Remembrance and Action: Make Change Now!” the spirit behind this phrase is to reflect on violence against women and trans* women in our society, and the lack of action taken by our government to address this prominent issue. Violence against women and trans* women is a daily reality for many in Canada. Bullying, sexual violence, physical and other forms of sexual assault in our society interferes with our ability to access and achieve equal education.

The AWCCA program has led George Brown’s memorial event since 1990 and this year we remember the women and trans* folks who are marginalized in Canada’s mainstream including but not limited to: women, trans* women of colour, missing and murdered aboriginal women, those living in poverty, newcomers to Canada, sex workers, and those whose voices we never hear.

In the Speech from the Throne in 2011, the government of Canada pledged to address the issue of violence against women and children as a priority for Canadians. However, there has been no national strategy developed so far. We demand a national strategy to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence.

This is a fight for a national strategy, a fight that is continuously being fought by committed women, trans* people, and male allies who recognize that societal attitudes regarding the inequality of women are still a problem.

Please join us on Dec. 8, in the St. James campus main lobby at 200 King St. East from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..

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Reflecting on violence against women