MP Bryan Hayes invites Canadians to show their support for victims of gender-based violence by participating in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and marking the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, 2014.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence began on November 25th, with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This 16-day event ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10th, and includes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6th.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established by Canada’s Parliament in 1991 to ensure Canadians would never forget the tragic deaths of 14 young women who were murdered at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6, 1989. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this tragedy.
December 6th is a time for Canadians to remember all the women and girls who have experienced violence and to reflect on why this phenomenon continues to exist in our society. It is also a call to action that urges all Canadians to do something and to speak out to denounce such abhorrent acts. Individuals are invited to observe a moment of silence, to wear a white ribbon, or to attend a candle light vigil in their community. They may also wish to raise awareness by joining the conversation about violence against women and girls on social media. Infobites that highlight facts about violence against women and girls are available on the Status of Women Canada website and can be shared on a variety of social media platforms.
· One in three women in Canada will experience sexual assault at some point in their lives. Sexual assault is one of the top five most common violent offences committed against women in Canada.
· In 2011, police reported rates of violent crime in Canada were 5% higher for women than for men. Women were 11 times more likely than men to be victims of sexual offences and three times more likely to be victims of criminal harassment.
· Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided more than $146 million through Status of Women Canada for community-based projects. Of this amount, more than $70 million has gone to projects to prevent and end violence against women girls. This includes projects that address violence against Aboriginal women, human trafficking, harmful cultural practices, and cyberviolence.
· The Government of Canada has taken significant action to better protect Canadians, including women and girls, from crime and to strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice system. Most recently, it introduced the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices bill, which reinforces that Canada’s openness and generosity does not extend to early and forced or polygamous marriage or harmful cultural practices.