Monday, December 6, 2010

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 6. I couldn’t let the whole day go by without remembering that it has been 21 years since the Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique. Vigils will be held across Canada today to remember the woman who were killed or injured, and to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Throughout this year the ongoing debate about the long gun registry has reached a fever pitch. The registry was put in place after the events of December 6, 1989 in hopes of preventing future tragedies. I hope this story doesn’t trump important discussions of femicide and violence around this time.

It seems more encouraging to highlight things like the December 6 fund, an initiative of the YWCA offering interest free loans to women leaving violent and abusive homes. We know that finances are one of the major reasons that women may not leave an abusive relationship. Initiatives like this that offer women the opportunity to use their own ideas and skills to create a new life are invaluable. I’ve known a couple women who have benefited from this fund, and they continue to be grateful.

So here’s to an end to all gender-based violence, and a rose to remember the women who have suffered it.

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