Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
It was over 30 years ago when 14 young women were murdered at Polytechnique in Montreal which led Parliment to designate December 6th to remember the lives lost and to take action.
Irene Willsie, Executive Director of the Women’s Contact Society in Williams Lake said the level of violence has increased against women right across the country.
“Between 2014 and 2019 there were 497 victims of intimate partner homicides in Canada. 8 in 10 of those victims, so 80 percent of those victims were female.”
And the COVID pandemic added to those statistics as well.
“The pandemic has been very difficult for women who are living in an unsafe situation on a number of levels.” Willsie said, “It’s more difficult to get out of the house, there is higher tension because of the impact of COVID on mental health, job losses and people not being able to leave their homes as freely as they use to be able to, all of these factors have increased the level of violence and also made it more difficult to reach out for help.”
Willsie noted that the Chiwid Transition House in Williams Lake had seen its occupancy rate increase by 22 percent from 2019 to 2020.
To show support for the Women’s Contact Society Purple Ribbon Campaign, Williams Lake City Hall has changed the lights outside their building to the color purple.