Cowichan Women Against Violence Society invites community members to attend a candlelit vigil of Remembrance, Awareness and Action on Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. at Sands Funeral Chapel in Duncan.
In 1991, the Parliament of Canada established the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women as an annual day of mourning and remembrance for the 14 young women murdered on Dec.6, 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montreal. Today, this annual vigil has expanded in acknowledgement that gender-based violence continues to be a brutal reality for many women and their children and for gender variant people every day in homes and workplaces, on the streets, and at schools and campuses.
In recent years, violence against women has been highlighted in the Cowichan Valley by several tragic stories. As a result, our consciousness of violence has been raised in a new way. But this doesn’t address the everyday impact that gender-based violence has on our community and across our country.
Of all the provinces, B.C. has the highest rate of violence against women. An estimated 80 per cent of aboriginal women have been assaulted or abused. And as many as 90 per cent of women with disabilities have been assaulted or abused.
Using definitions from the Criminal Code of Canada, 30 per cent of women have been physically or sexually assaulted by a man at least once. CWAV Society’s Social Action Committee seeks to involve the community in the conversation about missing and murdered women and the extreme risk of violence that gender-variant people across our country experience.
Canada’s marginalized populations are calling for an arena in which their voices can be heard and for new kinds of justice. We’re inviting the community to join this cause by making ourselves visible to raise awareness about gender-based violence.
On Dec. 6, the gathering is to memorialize those who have lost their lives in gender-based violence and to honour those who remain. The event will feature speaker Bev Stone, a performance by the Spirit Drummers and music by Loren Halloran. After speakers and ceremonies, we will walk with the candles lit down Trunk Road and back to the chapel. Please wear warm, comfortable clothing. After the walk, there will be food and hot drinks at Sands Funeral Chapel which is located at 187 Trunk Rd.
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