Vigil marks re­mem­brance

Day of Re­mem­brance held across the coun­try ev­ery De­cem­ber 6

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - NEWS - SAB­RINA BED­FORD

No can­dle stood a chance against the whip­ping wind on Block­house Is­land, but none­the­less the com­mu­nity gath­ered at the Women’s Me­mo­rial to com­mem­o­rate lives that have been lost as a re­sult of vi­o­lence against women.

The Day of Re­mem­brance – marked an­nu­ally on Dec. 6 across Canada – re­mem­bers the 14 women who were mur­dered by a lone gun­man walk­ing at l’Ecole Poly­tech­nique in 1989, while lo­cal vic­tims of vi­o­lence were also re­mem­bered by name.

“In­ter­val House here in Brockville as­sists over 850 women and chil­dren each and ev­ery year through our shel­ter, our out­reach ser­vices, and our chil­drens’ ser­vices,” Char­lene Catch­pole, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Leeds and Grenville In­ter­val House, said Wed­nes­day evening.

She said it’s im­por­tant to keep the is­sue in the pub­lic di­a­logue be­cause vi­o­lence against women re­mains an is­sue – lo­cally and na­tion­ally.

“One woman is killed ev­ery six days in Canada by a man, or men, who claim to love them; by men who think they are jus­ti­fied in their ac­tions, who feel they are en­ti­tled to be in con­trol and these acts of vi­o­lence bring them power.”

Dec. 6 marks a day rec­og­nized an­nu­ally in Canada as the Na­tional Day of Ac­tion and Re­mem­brance on Vi­o­lence against Women, and the Vic­tim Is­sues Co­or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee of Leeds and Grenville (VICCLG) held its an­nual vigil at the women’s mon­u­ment on Block­house Is­land Wed­nes­day to hon­our the an­niver­sary.

The gun­man on that tragic day in Montreal at­trib­uted the rea­son for his crimes to anger against women who pur­sued ed­u­ca­tion in a ca­reer tra­di­tion­ally held by men, and since then the coun­try has mourned the lives lost and has sought to keep the con­ver­sa­tion about vi­o­lence against women go­ing.

She noted that there are now over 4,000 re­ported cases of miss­ing or mur­dered Abo­rig­i­nal women across the coun­try, and she called on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to do more about the Na­tional In­quiry into Miss­ing and Mur­dered In­dige­nous Women and Girls.

“How and why can this still be hap­pen­ing?” she asked, but said lo­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion in events like this re­news her en­ergy. “My pas­sion is re­fu­eled, but our work is nowhere near done. But if we stand to­gether and we show women and girls that they are not alone; that they are be­lieved – we will re­main vig­i­lant in this fight to end vi­o­lence.”

SAB­RINA BED­FORD/ THE RECORDER AND TIMES

Brockville's po­lice chief Scott Fraser lays a rose at the Women's Mon­u­ment on Block­house Is­land in Brockville for The Day of Re­mem­brance, hon­our­ing the 14 women who were mur­dered by a lone gun­man in Montreal at lÕE­cole Poly­tech­nique in 1989.

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