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All welcome to Wednesday vigil in Trail

Dec. 6 event recognizes National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women goes Dec. 6 at Bridge View Café, starting at 4 p.m.

A Dec. 6 vigil returns in-person to Trail this year, and all are welcome to attend.

This event recognizes National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

As well, the city will recognize the day by flooding the Victoria Street Bridge in red lights.

The vigil is at Bridge View Café in downtown Trail, starting at 4 p.m. with refreshments and observance at 4:30 p.m.

It has been 34 years since the murder of 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal (Dec. 6, 1989). This act of violent misogyny shook the country and, in 1991, led Parliament to designate Dec. 6 as National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

On Dec. 6, we remember: Geneviève Bergeron; Hélène Colgan; Nathalie Croteau; Barbara Daigneault; Anne-Marie Edward; Maud Haviernick; Maryse Laganière; Maryse Leclair; Anne-Marie Lemay; Sonia Pelletier; Michèle Richard; Annie St-Arneault; Annie Turcotte; and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

In 1991, a group of Ontario men formed the White Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence of male violence against women. Today, the campaign is active in over 60 countries and seeks to promote healthy relationships, gender equity, and a compassionate vision of masculinity.

Now, more than three decades after the Montreal massacre, Ann Godderis from Trail FAIR, says more Canadians are finally becoming aware of the true extent of violence against thousands of women who, each year in Canada, are stalked, raped, beaten, abused and murdered by men simply because they are women.

The 2019 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girl’s Inquiry helped lead to a deeper understanding of violence and trauma experienced by generations of Indigenous women and children; however, Godderis says implementation of effective necessary actions to prevent the violence is still lacking.

“The federal government has recently come out with a National Plan to End Gender Based Violence, which, hopefully, will be implemented across the country with sufficient resources to enable significant positive change,” Godderis adds. “According to the federal government, gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violations of our time.”

GBV can take many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and financial abuse, as well as technology-facilitated violence.

Another step forward is a proposed law making its way through Parliament which would criminalize a set of behaviours called “coercive control” used to control or dominate one person by the other in a relationship.

Coercive control is almost always present in abusive relationships. But, to date in Canada, has not been legally recognized as part of a very harmful behaviour pattern which may escalate to physical or sexual violence. Examples include the abuser taking away control of things like money, cutting their partner off from family and friends, and expecting to always know where their partner is and what they are doing.

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Sheri Regnier

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