Person holding a sign that reads "Silence is Violence"

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Hub Staff

Local organizations and agencies are working together to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and to commemorate the lives lost in 1989 at L'École Polytechnique, what has come to be known as the Montreal Massacre.

December 6, 2023 will mark 34 years since 14 women were killed because they were women and vigils are planned for Saugeen Shores and Owen Sound.

"Gender-based violence continues to be a concern as a number of incidents in our area and across Canada remains very high," read a post on the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Southport website. "All members of our community are welcome to come and stand with us against gender-based violence."

A press release from the Women's Centre Grey Bruce said that as of October 31, 2023, there have been 55 femicides in Ontario, surpassing the total number reported in 2022. A femicide is a gender-based killing of a woman, child, trans woman, 2-Spirited or gender non-conforming individual where a man was charged in relation to the death.

“Year-after-year we mourn all victims of unjust gender-based killings, in hopes that our acknowledgement pushes us towards a safer future, free of violence and abuse," said Owen Sound co-organizer Krystal Stukas of The Women’s Centre Bruce.

Jane Hartley from the Women's House Serving Bruce and Grey said that education and awareness can spark change on the local level. "We continue to see community members from all walks of life come together to help those in need. Thank you to our local community for their continuous displays of generosity and support for each other as we move towards a safer future for all."

The Saugeen Shores event is set to take place at Coulter Parkette, the corner of Green and Goderich Street in Port Elgin at noon.

The Owen Sound event, also getting underway at noon, will take place at the Owen Sound Farmer's Market, 88 8th Street East and will include hand drummers from the M'Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre, remarks from Saugeen First Nation Elder Shirley John, and a choir performing a piece dedicated to the 1989 victims.

Both vigils will be held outdoors so those who plan to attend are encouraged to dress for the weather.