It’s been nearly three decades since a mass shooting that left 14 women dead and shocked a nation and yet the struggle to address violence against women remains a tough one, says a spokesperson for the Tri-County Women’s Centre.
In partnership with the South West Labour Group, the women’s centre is organizing the annual vigil to be held Dec. 6 in Yarmouth’s Frost Park to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
The date is the anniversary of the 1989 massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, where the 14 women who were killed were singled out and murdered because of their gender.
Lisanne Turner, executive director of the Tri-County Women’s Centre, cites some sobering statistics to show how violence against women remains a serious issue.
“It is an uphill battle,” she said. “Six months into 2018, 78 women had been killed by acts of violence in Canada.”
The Yarmouth event on Dec. 6 will consist of a candlelight vigil in Frost Park. There will be a few words spoken and some songs sung, organizers say. It is scheduled for 5 p.m. (The storm location is the Yarmouth town hall.)
Turner was asked about the significance of the event and about the importance of having it each year.
“This remembering is an opportunity to mourn and honour the lives lost and honour those who have survived, as well as inform our action on violence,” she said.
The day encourages people to take action in different ways, she said.
“To listen by being open to learning from the experiences of others, to believe by supporting survivors and those affected by violence, to speak out by adding your voice to call out violence, to intervene in a safe way when you see acts of violence and to act by giving your time to organizations working to end violence.”
In their promotion of the Dec. 6 vigil in Yarmouth, organizers invite people to join them to remember the victims of the Montreal massacre and to think about “all women that face violence every day. Let us work together for the elimination of violence against all of humanity.”