Me­mo­rial hon­ours women

Kingston Whig-Standard - - FRONT PAGE - JU­LIA MCKAY

Can­dles were lit, the roses were laid and names re­cited at me­mo­ri­als across the coun­try on Thurs­day for the women and girls who have lost their lives in do­mes­tic and gen­der-based vi­o­lence.

Canada’s Na­tional Day of Re­mem­brance and Ac­tion on Vi­o­lence Against Women is a time to come to­gether, re­flect, re­mem­ber and reignite the pas­sion to see the end of gen­der-based vi­o­lence in Canada.

“We come to­gether as a com­mu­nity to hon­our those who have been taken from us, re­flect on the preva­lence of vi­o­lence in our so­ci­ety, sup­port those whose lives have been im­pacted by gen­der-based vi­o­lence and rec­og­nize the need for change,” Lori MacKen­zie, train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion co-or­di­na­tor with Kingston In­ter­val House, said. “[For those in need], reach out to the com­mu­nity sup­ports, reach out to Kingston In­ter­val House or the Sex­ual As­sault Cen­tre. Reach out to any­body. Ev­ery­body knows some­body and any­body can make a dif­fer­ence.”

Ac­cord­ing to statis­tics re­leased this year, pro­vided by Kingston In­ter­val House, a woman in On­tario is mur­dered by a part­ner, or former part­ner, ev­ery 13 days on av­er­age.

The Na­tional Day of Re­mem­brance was ini­ti­ated to hon­our the sur­vivors and re­mem­ber the 14 fe­male en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents who were mur­dered at l’ecole Polytech­nic in Mon­treal in 1989.

“Peo­ple are go­ing to think that that was a long time ago, but let’s not for­get that this year women were tar­geted in a gen­der-based crime when that in­di­vid­ual ran a van onto the side­walks in Toronto aim­ing to kill women,” MacKen­zie said. “It’s still hap­pen­ing. Gen­der-based vi­o­lence is very real.”

For Saman­tha Galati, vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor at Sex­ual As­sault Cen­tre Kingston, see­ing more groups and sup­ports in place for girls mov­ing into the science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math (STEM) fields is en­cour­ag­ing, and it is grow­ing in Kingston.

“At the event, not only do we com­mem­o­rate the lives of the vic­tims of the l’ecole Polytech­nic [tragedy], but we also speak about all of the vic­tims since then, in our com­mu­nity, who have lost their lives to gen­der-based vi­o­lence,” Galati said. “It’s re­ally easy to dis­tance your­self from the mes­sage, be­cause it’s been a while and peo­ple might not think of it as much, but I think be­ing able to con­nect [Dec. 6] to all of the other mur­ders that have hap­pened be­cause of do­mes­tic or gen­der-based vi­o­lence is some­thing that is im­por­tant. It’s still hap­pen­ing in our com­mu­nity. ”

Vi­o­lence against women is not al­ways phys­i­cal. It can be ver­bal and emo­tional.

“We know that there are over 1,000 miss­ing and mur­der Indige­nous women in Canada as of this year,” Galati said.

The me­mo­rial in Kingston was held at the Sy­den­ham Street United Church, 82 Sy­den­ham St., at 5:30 p.m.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.