On December 6th, 1989, 14 women were gunned down by Marc Lepine as he chanted “I hate feminists” at Ecole Polytechniques in Montreal. They were murdered because they were women.
Sadly this is far from a single event. The harsh reality is that upwards of 300 women and children flee violence every day in Canada and sorrowfully, many do not make it out alive.
December 6th is a day for us to band together, to mourn and remember, not only for these 14 women but for all our Sisters who suffer gender-based violence.
These are the sobering statistics:
- Homicide is the number one killer of women in the workplace.
- Intimate partner violence costs Canada $7.4 billion a year.
- 2/3 of all female victims of sexual assault are under 24.
- Half of Canadian women will experience at least 1 incident of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
- On any given day, over 3000 women (along with their 2500 children) are staying in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.
- A woman in Canada is killed by her current or former partner at least once a week.
- Employers lose $77.9 million annually as a result of domestic violence.
- 1 in 10 women aged 18-24 report having experienced sexual harassment at work within the previous 12 months.
- Young women are killed at nearly 3 times the rate of all victims of domestic homicide.
- 20% of women in Canada live with a disability, and nearly 60% of them will experience violence in their lifetime.
What we can do:
- Lobby the government to create a National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women
- Demand action on the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
- Work for a better workplace domestic violence legislation at the provincial, territorial and federal levels.
- Involve men in the fight against violence.
- Demand the reinstatement of the federal long-gun registry.
We need to stand united, to fight against gender-based violence and be the voice and action for those who suffer and for those who we have lost.
Missy Taylor, PSAC Ontario Council Regional Women’s Committees Representative