National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women-December 6
What is it?
December 6, 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of what came to be known as the Montreal Massacre.
On December 6, 1989, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, ammunition and knives, Marc Lepine walked through l’École Polytechnique in Montreal, separated the men from the women, and then proceeded to shoot and kill 14 women while making anti-woman statements. Thirteen others were wounded.
Lepine, who eventually shot and killed himself, had applied for admission to the school and was rejected. In the suicide note he left behind Lepine indicated that he saw “feminists” as being responsible for everything that had gone wrong in his life.
Throughout the country, December 6 events are held to remember the 14 women who were killed at l'École Polytechnique and all women murdered by men. The 14 women murdered in 1989 were:
Geneviève Bergeron, 21
Hélène Colgan, 23
Nathalie Croteau, 23
Barbara Daigneault, 22
Anne-Marie Edward, 21
Maud Haviernick, 29
Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31
Maryse Laganière, 25
Maryse Leclair, 23
Anne-Marie Lemay, 27
Sonia Pelletier, 23
Michèle Richard, 21
Annie St-Arneault, 23
Annie Turcotte, 21
In 1991, the Parliament of Canada declared December 6th to be the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
This incident, while horrific and rare, revealed how women continue to confront hostile, sexist and deadly behaviour. The day represents a time to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also a day for communities and individuals to think about the concrete actions that each of us can take to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women.
In Ontario, candlelight vigils, memorial services, and other events are held throughout the province.
Violence has deep-seated roots and is perpetuated generation to generation. It is an integral part of a structure of unequal relations between men and women made more intense by an economic and social system that restricts wealth, privilege and power to a small, largely male elite. It enforces roles, stereotypes and behaviours that confine and oppress women. It takes many forms – in our homes, in our schools, in our workplaces, in our streets, in the courts and in our legislatures.
What can I do?
- Violence Against Women is an Equality and Human Rights issue. Organize and work with other equity-seeking allies to end all forms of violence and oppression of women. Join/start a women’s group to take action against violence against women in your community.
- Speak up if you hear anyone making comments that support oppression or discrimination against any woman.
- Get political! Lobby your MPP and MP for improved laws, systemic policies and resources to safeguard women and children. You can find a website that will give you a list of MPPs and MPs in your area on this website under Action Tools at our Action page. Email them, visit their offices, call or write them with your opinions.
- Come and “STEP IT UP” with others who hold Government accountable for its lack of progress for women who experience violence. Check out the Step it Up! Campaign website below for more information on issues in Ontario and what can stop violence against women.
- Share your ideas with others—educate and inform.
- Donate your time and money to organizations and services that help women who have experienced violence—women’s equality-seeking groups, shelters, rape crisis centres, women’s resource centres, Aboriginal and immigrant women’s group and many others. Women have important things to say, and they need you to work in solidarity with them.
- Support and respect the knowledge and experience of women “survivors” of violence when they come to YOUR table!
Some websites every woman should know about:
It's time to start tracking government progress on the “Step it Up! Campaign” Platform for Parties and the promises made to women during the 2007 provincial election campaign: www.stepitupontario.ca
Find contact information for your elected representatives on this website Action page under Action Tools and let them know what you think.
If you are experiencing violence or you know someone who may be experiencing violence here is a website that lists shelters in your area: www.shelternet.ca/splashPage.htm
- Action Now!
- What We Think!
- Action Tools
- Equity Calendar
- International Women's Day
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Mother's Day
- Pride Week
- National Aboriginal Solidarity Day
- Labour Day
- National Day of Vigils to Remember Murdered and Missing
- International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
- 16 Days of Activism
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- World AIDS Day
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Human Rights Day
Click here if you are concerned about someone knowing the sites you have visited.
Click here to leave this site quickly.