Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Events in Ottawa to mark anniversary of Montreal Massacre

Events in Ottawa to mark anniversary of Montreal Massacre

Heidi Rathjen, a former Ecole polytechnique student and witness to the massacre, said it is still important to remember what happened 28 years ago. This event, deemed the Montreal massacre, is now etched in Canadian history. This day annually falls during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence; it starts with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, and ends with International Human Rights Day on December 10.

Each of their names was read out, one by one Wednesday during Fanshawe College's ceremony for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Fourteen women lost their lives to violence on December 6, 1989. "Over 50 per cent of Canadian women experience an incident at some point in their lives".

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"The general public needs to know more about domestic violence and that it is still an issue in our province".

A co-founder of the Victim Justice Network, de Villiers said that while strides had been made in the effort to combat violence, more work is needed. "We must take action and empower them".

"That means valuing the voices of women and girls, fighting the injustices and inequalities that put the most vulnerable women at the greatest risk of violence, and breaking down a culture that dismisses women's worth - from Hollywood studios to the halls of Parliament", he said. "But violence against women is still a very present-day problem, in both our countries".

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The men in the crowd wear white ribbons, a symbol of their commitment to be a part of the solution, promoting gender equity, healthy relationships and a new version of masculinity.

"Unions have a significant role to play in ensuring women's safety at home and in the workplace", says Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer, "and in advocating for support for women facing violence every day".

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