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 Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal which led Parliament 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 even though it happened decades ago, we still have a long way to go to become a non-violent society and explained the importance of remembering this day year after year.
“It was true gender-based violence. Women were entering the field of Engineering and Science, it was an exciting time for women, and this was a direct Hate Crime against women.”
Willsie also remembers where she was and how it affected her when she heard the news
“I was at my friend’s house and she had the news on and we were absolutely shocked, silenced, followed by tears and fear. Even though it happened in Montreal that fact is was such a horrendous attack on women because they were women. I was holding my daughter, she was less than two years old and I was terrified for her and what the world was going to be for her to grow up in.”
Ten women and four men were also injured during that mass shooting at Ecole Polytechnique on December 6, 1989.