Ann Davis Transition Society in Chilliwack will be paying tribute to the victims of the Montreal Massacre on Sunday, Dec. 6 and they are inviting the public to join them for a virtual vigil.
The tribute to the 14 victims of the 1989 mass shooting – and all women who have died as a result of gender-based violence – comes in the form of a memorial video released by the society on Friday, Dec. 4.
In Canada, Dec. 6 marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a day that commemorates the anniversary of the École Polytechnique tragedy where 14 young women were singled out and murdered 31 years ago.
“Violence against women and family violence is a crisis across our country, globally and right here in our own community,” said Patti MacAhonic, executive director at Ann Davis Transition Society. “This year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an upsurge of domestic violence.”
With the social lockdown, loss of employment and not enough access to childcare, women who are in unsafe situations are being forced to stay much longer than they should be, MacAhonic said.
“Indigenous women, in particular, already face higher levels of violence and abuse, and the situation is made much worse by COVID.”
The transition society is asking people to watch the video and take a moment of silence on Sunday.
While Dec. 6 is a day to remember all women and girls across the country who have died by gender violence, it is also a day of action.
“Today we stand together, to affirm that we will never tolerate violence against women in any form. Please join me and speak up when you see violence against women. This is a collective responsibility for each and every one of us,” MacAhonic said.