Today marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
It’s a day of recognition, sparked by the mass shooting at l’Ecole Polytechnique du Montreal on December 6, 1989. The shooting happened in an engineering classroom at the university. A man separated the men and women and opened fire on the women, killing fourteen and wounding thirteen, before turning the weapon on himself. He cited his reason was that he was fighting against feminism. He said feminists had ruined his life.
The City of Duncan and Cowichan Valley Regional District shared they’re marking the occasion by flying flags within their jurisdiction at half-mast.
Cowichan Women Against Violence Program Director Brooklyn Mann says pre-pandemic vigils normally commemorated the event, but now support for the day looks different.
“Previously we’ve been able to partake in vigils and stuff, with the pandemic, support looks a little bit different,” says Mann. “It can be as simple as going out and buying some books that are going to help educate you. It can be asking if there’s opportunities to volunteer, [or] donating through websites. Activism comes in all forms and so really our hope is just that the more voices that stand to create equality and equity together, the louder and more opportunity for change we’re going to have.”
Cowichan Women Against Violence offers many services to women and even some services to men across the Cowichan Valley. Their services include women’s safe housing, women’s counselling and groups, child and youth counselling and groups, educational programs, and advocacy
Mann says if you’re looking to volunteer or learn more you can visit their website here.