The Campbell River and North Island Transition Society (CRNITS) is encouraging community members to gather at the Spirit Square at noon on Monday, Dec. 6 to take part in a vigil to honour the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
“Take a moment to consider what actions you can take to stand up against misogyny, sexism and hate to foster a culture of respect,” said Diane Palmer, public relations coordinator for the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society. “Be present at the Spirit Square at 12 p.m. to honour all who lost their lives due to gender-based violence.”
It has been 32 years since the murder of 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal (Dec. 6, 1989). This act of violent misogyny shook our country and led Parliament to designate Dec. 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On Dec. 6 each year, communities gather to remember: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, whose lives ended during the murders at Polytechnique Montreal.
In Canada and around the world, women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, plus) and gender diverse individuals face unacceptable violence and discrimination. Palmer pointed out that gender-based violence in Canada has been magnified and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there have been reports from police services, shelters, and local organization about an increase in calls related to gender-based violence across Canada during the pandemic.
“Intimate partner and family violence increase during disaster and emergencies, both in prevalence and severity,” Palmer said.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and those who have died because of it. It is also a time to take action. Achieving a Canada free from gender-based violence requires everyone living in this country to educate themselves and their families and communities on gender-based violence, centre the voices of survivors in our actions and speak up against harmful behaviours.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women occurs during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which began November 25. For more information about the 16 Days of Activism, check out the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society Facebook page or website at www.annelmorehouse.ca