It has been over 30 years since the murder of 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal (December 6, 1989). This act of violent misogyny shook our country and led Parliament to designate December 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
On December 6, we remember:
Today is a day of mourning, remembrance and also of action. Our organization affirms the commitment to fight gender based hate and misogyny. We know that this misogyny is still here today and reports from police services, shelters and local organizations have experienced increased service calls related to gender based violence across Canada due to partners staying home during the pandemic and the same can be said during the holiday time.
74% of Albertans report that they personally know at least one woman who has been sexually or physically assaulted.
This figure does not factor in the countless women who do not tell anyone about the assault(s) nor does it factor in any other type of abuse besides physical and sexualized violence.
Source: Canadian Women’s Foundation “Angus Reid Omnibus Survey” from 2012.
We hope to one day see a country free of gender based hate and call on all levels of government to keep the reality of gender based hate in mind when making decisions that impact women and gender diverse individuals.
We signal our concern for the decision in October to have “Status of Women” removed from the Ministry of Culture and Status of Women. Status of Women was downgraded to a parliamentary secretary position and we hope that issues impacting women and gender diverse individuals get the attention and care they need so that we can see the end of gender based violence.
Here are some facts from the Canadian Women’s Foundation:
Gender based hate costs lives: approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner (Amelia Armstrong and Brianna Jaffray, Statistics Canada, 2021).
Domestic violence can carry over into the workplace, threatening women’s ability to maintain economic independence. More than half (53%) of study respondents who experienced domestic violence said that at least one type of abusive act happened at or near their workplace. Almost 40% of those who had experienced domestic abuse said it made it difficult for them to get to work, and 8.5% said that they lost their jobs because of it (Jennifer C.D. MacGregor et al., Safety and Health at Work, 2016).
The toll on those who are harmed is significant. It’s hard on those around them, too. Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes (Eve Bender, Psychiatric News, 2004).
It costs billions of dollars: $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone (Department of Justice, 2009).
Know what the signal for help looks like: https://canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help/
Become an ally by adopting these simple but powerful actions all year long:
Listen: be open to learning from the experiences of others
Believe: support survivors and those affected by violence. It is very important that you say the words ‘’I believe you’’ and ‘’This is not your fault’’
Educate (yourself and others): learn the facts about GBV; know what your workplace policies say about violence and harassment; take a course; participate in an event
Speak out: add your voice to call out violence
Intervene: find a safe way to help when you see acts of gender-based violence. Name what you see. Express your concern and ask how you can help. Intervening can also mean providing support and resources
Act: give your time or donate to organizations working to end gender-based violence
Additional informational resources: