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December 6 Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 06, 2021

On Dec. 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in what has become known as the Montreal Massacre. Their tragic deaths remind us of the frightening reality that dozens of women die violently every year in this country. This day has been declared a national day of mourning and action.
 We realize that the murder of these women was not an isolated act. Along with violence against women in homes, workplaces, and the street, this tragedy is yet another manifestation of the devaluing and blaming of women which is embedded in our society and internalized in individuals.

Violence is a chosen response. Society must become more serious about ending violence against women and children. Our institutions must work and achieve equality including equal power between men and women.

Violence against women and children makes the news almost every day. There are countless opportunities to get past the headlines to examine:

  • history of violence against women; social, political, racial, and media context of violence;
  • psychological, social and economic impact on women's (and children's) lives;
  • needs of women and children who have witnessed or experienced violence;
  • police and legal response;
  • political response by various levels of governments; and,
  • role of education, anti-violence and anti-sexism programs in schools.

ETFO encourages schools and communities to support local women’s shelters. Here are some ideas for providing financial assistance and in-kind services for shelters in your area:
  • Hold silent auctions of crafts and items donated by teachers and community members.
  • Hold draws, raffles, and other events to raise money.
  • When members come to local events, ask them to bring useful items for women and children in crisis centres (The centres will be able to tell what they need.).
  • Encourage members to collect samples given out by hotels (shampoo, soap, etc.) when travelling. These can be collected in the staff room and given to the shelter once a year.
  • Encourage members to donate used clothing and household goods to the local shelter.
  • Organize a collection of backpacks filled with school supplies for children living in shelters.
  • Hold casual Fridays and donate the money to the shelters. Have draws, raffles, and other events, which raise money.
  • Call your local shelter to find out ways of volunteering time in lieu of money.