This December 6, women and men and families will gather at vigils and memorials across the country to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered by a gunman chanting "I hate feminists" on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.
Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada is an annual day of mourning and remembrance for those 14 young women. But it also an annual day to reflect that today more than 70% of the victims of domestic homicide are women; that gender-based violence continues to be brutal reality for nearly 300 women and their children who flee a violent household every day in Canada; and that thousands of other women do not report their physical or psychological abuse, whether that be inside or outside the home.
But we cannot be silent, for gender-based violence can only be reduced if we take action and challenge the attitudes, behaviours and sexism that contribute to making Sisters victims of violence in our communities.
So on December 6, first let us mourn and remember (see right column for a partial listing of December 6 events across Canada). Then let us recommit to take action and confront all forms of violence against girls and women, wherever we see it.