Islanders talk about violence against women

  • Dec. 12, 2014 7:00 p.m.

Islanders gathered at the Islands Wellness Society in Queen Charlotte on Dec. 5, uniting in honour of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.”Today, we were able to talk about change. We had a really nice gathering, about 30 people: men, women and kids. I think that’s really encouraging,” said Victim Services coordinator Bonnie Olson.Attendees were invited to light a candle in remembrance, enjoy a warm bowl of soup and talk openly about the Montreal Massacre and violence against women.The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada marks the anniversary of the massacre at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, which happened on Dec. 6, 1989. Armed student Marc Lépine targeted female students, murdering 14 and injuring 10 others.The day of remembrance also provides an opportunity to think about women and girls who face violence every day, said Ms. Olson, and to remember those who’ve died or gone missing because of gender-based violence.One in three women in Canada will experience sexual assault in her lifetime. When people think about their friends and family members, Ms. Olson said, that statistic really comes into perspective and its impact hits close to home.”This is a very hard subject for most, and it’s something that I think resonates for all women,” Ms. Olson said. “I think it’s really encouraging to see women reporting violence in the media. These women are feeling they can have a conversation on a different level. Hopefully the stigma and blame is shifting through open public dialogue. I am a firm believer that conversation creates shifts of change.”

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