In 1991, the Canadian Parliament declared Dec. 6 a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, known informally as White Ribbon Day, in honour of the fourteen women who lost their lives in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in 1989.
“It’s important to remember this sad event every year to remind ourselves to not become complacent with hate towards women, as it has deadly outcomes,” said Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society executive director Lynn Loeppky.
According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 160 women and children were killed in Canada by violence in 2020, an increase from 2019.
On Dec. 6, we think about not only those who have lost their lives to gender-based violence but also those who are currently living with abuse. Women and children of minority groups in Canada and of colour throughout the world are most vulnerable. In British Columbia for example, the Government of BC states that Indigenous women and children are 2.7 times more likely to experience violence than their non-indigenous counterparts.
We know that the pandemic has negatively impacted these groups and society in general as social isolation measures have been enforced. “Gender based violence was dubbed the shadow pandemic of Covid-19 by the United Nations”, states the BC Women’s Foundation. UN Women has documented a global increase in the use of violence against women helplines. In Revelstoke, throughout the pandemic the women’s shelter has adapted its programming to reduce isolation and increase connection for women in our community. The shelter’s women’s program Moving Forward has seen a surprising uptake in its attendance as women and children join activities virtually through zoom.
|Abuse effects the victim’s wellbeing, often leaving victims stressed and isolated.(Contributed)|
According to the BC Women’s Foundation, “stress, reduced income, food insecurity, alcohol consumption, disrupted family routines, and feeling loss of control are known triggers for violence in the home”. As our province moves through these trying times of climate disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter would like to remind the community that their service are available.
For information on our services or to get involved, call the shelter office at 250-837-4382 or visit at revelstokewomensshelter.com
If you are in need of help immediately call the crisis line at 250-837-1111.
To view the Ecole Polytechnique tribute created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNbd2T47C90&feature=youtu.be