December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On this day in 1989, 14 women were killed at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal by a shooter who specifically targeted women, claiming that feminists had ruined his life. These women were killed simply because they were women. They were staff and students, many of whom were about to graduate, others having just started their degrees. They were young, ranging in their 20s and early 30s; the youngest just 20 years old. To learn more, please click here.
These are the women we remember:
- Genevieve Bergeron
- Helene Colgan
- Nathalie Croteau
- Barbara Daigneault
- Anne-Marie Edward
- Maud Haviernick
- Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz
- Maryse Laganiere
- Maryse Leclair
- Anne-Marie Lemay
- Sonia Pelletier
- Michele Richard
- Annie St-Arneault
- Annie Turcotte
At MOSAIC’s main office, you will find 14 roses at each reception, one for each woman who was killed 27 years ago.
Today we encourage you to take a moment of silence to honour and remember these women and all women and girls who have been injured or killed in acts of violence.
This day in 1989 shook our nation, and it still resonates with us today as women and girls continue to face violence in Canada. There still is a gender gap in STEM professions (STEM = science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and other male dominated fields, and the women who are in those fields experience violence through sexist microaggressions. We still have over 1,181 murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, a number of whom went missing on what is known as the Highway of Tears, a section of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Many of the families of these women have yet to receive closure or justice for those they’ve lost.
We are still a long way from being free of violence. Let’s never forget that the fight against gender-based violence will only end if we work together to build a world that is safe for everyone. Please take this opportunity to raise awareness of all forms gender-based violence, to stand up against it, and to stand with those impacted by violence, particularly women and girls.
If you or someone you know is dealing with gender-based violence or trauma in their lives, feel free to contact MOSAIC’s Stopping the Violence and Multicultural Outreach Services for support. For more information, please visit mosaicbc.org/stv.
MOSAIC offers free, confidential counselling support and outreach services for all self-identifying women who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse, threats, or violence in an intimate relationship, sexual assault or childhood abuse. For more information, please visit mosaicbc.org/stv.
If you have been the victim of a crime, we can provide emotional support, information about your rights, legal information and referrals to help in your recovery. For more information, please visit mosaicbc.org/mvs.