In-person reflection is back this year after COVID cancelled community vigils for National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women last year on Dec. 6.
“On Monday, December 6 all are welcome to a socially distanced vigil outside Trail’s Bridge View Café to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women,” Ann Godderis, from Trail FAIR, has confirmed.
“To help mark the anniversary, the City of Trail will turn the lights on the Victoria Street Bridge to red.”
Coffee and snacks will be available at no-charge from the cafe at 4:30 p.m., and until the vigil begins at 5 p.m. The remembrance will run for 30 minutes on the river-side of the restaurant.
“This is an opportunity to remember all women affected by violence and to reflect on what can be done to help end that violence,” Godderis said.
The event is organized by the Trail Area Interagency Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) committee.
“People will take the time to consider what they and the community can do to help create a culture of respect so as to end abuse of women in all forms,” says Nadia Usher, VAWIR member and community coordinator for victims services.
“Actions can include something as simple as refusing to laugh at sexist jokes, making sure someone gets home safely, or learning about and supporting local anti-violence services.”
The Trail Interagency VAWIR committee is made up of representatives from several local organizations working with women and children.
Members come from agencies such as the Ministry of Children and Family Development, RCMP Victim Services, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Trail and Greater District RCMP detachment, Adult Probation and Trail FAIR’s Stopping the Violence Counselling, WINS Transition House and Community Based Victim Services.
For more information about programs and resources available to women threatened by violence and abuse, contact Trail FAIR at 250.364.2326 or visit: trailfair.ca.
In Canada, violence against women became a very public issue 32 years ago on Dec. 6, when a lone gunman targeted and murdered 14 women at École Polytechnique in Montreal. This murderous act shook the country and led Parliament, in 1991, to designate Dec. 6 as a day of remembrance, focusing on measurable action to end violence against women.
Since then, more and more Canadians have become aware of the extent of violence against thousands of women who, each year in Canada, are stalked, raped, beaten, abused and murdered simply because they are women. The 2019 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girl’s Inquiry has led to a deeper understanding of the violence and trauma experienced by generations of Indigenous women and girls but, sadly, the necessary actions to prevent violence are lacking.
Today, three decades after the École Polytechnique Massacre, statistics and headlines continue to remind citizens that abuse of women is still an unresolved, serious issue throughout Canadian society, with an average of one woman killed every six days in Canada.
Every night in Canada over 3,400 women and their 2,700+ children are in shelters trying to escape violence. Most recently, a survey disseminated through Women Shelters Canada found, “Transition homes and women’s shelters across the country reported seeing an escalation in the severity of violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
* Between 2014 and 2019, there were 497 victims of intimate partner homicide in Canada. Eight in 10 victims were female.
* Young women and girls under 25 have the highest rates of police-reported sexual assault in Canada, accounting for over half of victims.
* Women in rural areas experience the highest overall rates of intimate partner violence in Canada.
* Indigenous women, Black women, women of colour, transgender women, women living with disabilities, and people with intersecting marginalized identities face a disproportionately higher risk of sexual assault.
* Indigenous women in Canada experience higher rates of domestic violence compared to non-Indigenous women and disproportionate rates of domestic homicide.
* According to a Trans PULSE Canada report, nearly one-quarter of racialized trans and non-binary survey respondents had experienced physical violence in the previous five years, and nearly half had experienced sexual harassment.
* Individuals who have experienced homelessness and childhood abuse also experience higher risk.