National Day of Remembrance and Action of Violence Against Women
On December 6, 1989, 14 female students at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal were killed in an act of gender-based violence. In 1991, the Parliament of Canada declared December 6th to be the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
It has been 26 years since the tragedy at l’École Polytechnique and women in Canada, and around the world, are still subject to high levels of violence.
The day now represents a time to reflect on violence against women in our society. It is also a day for communities and individuals to speak out against all forms of violence against women and its impact on victims and their families and friends.
YWCA Light the Night Against Violence
YWCAs across Canada will participate in Light the Night Against Violence, when prominent Canadian landmarks will be lit up in red to commemorate December 6th, reminding us that violence is still with us.
In Vancouver, Science World and BC Place will shine red in support for ending violence against women. Vancouver Rape Relief is hosting the annual Montreal Massacre Memorial featuring speakers, film screenings, information sessions and ways to take action against violence. Women against Violence against Women (WAVAW) will be hosting a screening of Highway of Tears in commemoration of the 1989 attacks. The Vancouver Art Gallery will have a shoe memorial for the women lost in the attacks, and for all other victims of violence against women.
What can you do as a friend or family of someone who has left an abusive partner?
- Do not judge her; she is not to blame for leaving and keeping herself and the children safe
- Listen. Sometimes all she may need is someone to talk to
- Support her and the children when you can to keep them safe during this vulnerable time
- Refer them to other support networks. Your friend may need professional help when it comes to concerns such as legal custody and child support.
See the YWCA Metro Vancouver Stopping the Violence brochure to find other local organizations that provide support for women leaving abuse.