The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre Sarnia-Lambton will host its annual vigil on Dec. 6, to observe the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Gender Based Violence, and honour the victims of the 1989 École Polytechnique murders.
“It has been exactly 33 years since this tragedy,” said executive director Chantel Butterfield. “And we can confidently say that our community remembers and reflects, but have we changed?
“The root causes of femicide continue to exist today and, unfortunately, the Montréal Massacre is not an isolated event.”
Butterfield noted that, approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused spikes in gender-based violence in Canada and around the world.
Gender-based violence impacts women, girls, 2SLGBTQIA+, and gender diverse individuals, she noted.
The vigil, taking place at City Hall at 5:30 p.m., will include tributes of each of the women killed in what’s known as the Montreal Massacre.
“Ending gender-based violence can only be done with collective efforts,” Butterfield said, noting that the event incorporates representatives from several community partners, including the Family Counselling Centre, Women’s Interval Home, reseau d’femme, Community Legal Assistance, Centre Communautaire Francophone de Sarnia, Rebound, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Circles and the Children’s Aid Society.
A post-vigil warm-up with hot drinks and a cozy atmosphere for debriefing will be held following the vigil at the Tin Fiddler, Butterfield said.
“It is more important than ever that we stand together to end gender-based violence and show our children what a safe, equitable and strong community we can be.”