Tomorrow is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which marks the anniversary of the murder of 14 young women at École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6, 1989.
It’s a day to remember all women who have needlessly experienced violence simply because of their gender, particularly those who have lost their lives at the hands of such violence. It’s also a day of action, a day that we must make a commitment to change so that we can individually and collectively end violence against women.
As a police agency, we respond to calls involving violence against women on a daily basis, often brutal and horrific cases. But equally as troubling is the violence against women that is less overt; violence that is perpetuated through the disempowerment, control, objectification or disrespect of women. This is where we must take a stand and make a call for action. If we can start small and speak up against the less overt violence, then perhaps we can prevent the extremely violent acts from occurring. Ultimately, this means all of us – both men and women – doing the right thing for the right reasons for all of society. That’s why you’ve seen us over the last number of years embark on campaigns centred on changing attitudes and behaviour towards women, such as Don’t be that guy and Be More Than a Bystander.
This year, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, we are proud to support the We Can Just Talk campaign. This social media prevention and awareness campaign developed by the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia aims to spread the word about verbal and non-physical abuse.