December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Established in 1991, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.
As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the gender based violence in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Abuse and violence can happen in any relationship and between different genders, but the reality is men are more likely to use physical and sexual violence against women. No matter what abuse is never ok. Abuse is always a choice. If you are experiencing abuse, remember it is not your fault, and no one deserves abuse. If you know about abuse that is happening, or if you are experiencing abuse tell someone you trust. Teens in Manitoba can also use phone lines for support. The Klinic Crisis Line is 204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019, Kids Help Phone is 1-800-668-6868, both are free.
November and December are important months for raising awareness of gender-based violence in Canada and around the world. In addition to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women takes place on November 25 and marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which ends on December 10, with International Human Rights Day.
We all have a role in ending gender based violence. #OurActionsMatter. Use this hash tag to show your commitment to ending gender based violence.