December 6: the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women
Canadians will always remember the tragic events of December 6, 1989, when 14 young women were killed – targeted because of their gender. Reaction was swift and determined, as our nation resolved to end violence against women and girls in all its forms.
Today, this important work continues. It involves all Canadians, across all communities and jurisdictions, in every part of Canada. Why? Because violence against women affects us all, destroying families, tearing apart communities, and placing an incredible burden on our economy.
This is why the Government of Canada remains absolutely committed to eliminating gender-based violence. We are taking action that is improving the safety and well-being of women and girls, their families, and their communities.
Recently, for example, the Government of Canada made investments in initiatives that engage men and boys in ending violence and support community-based projects to help students be safe and secure during their post-secondary studies. In fact, since 2007, more than $54 million in federal funding has been approved for projects that seek to address violence against women and girls.
The Government of Canada has also supported a wide range of initiatives that are yielding concrete results across Canada. To name just a few:
- changes to the Safe Streets and Communities Act that result in better protecting children and youth from sexual predators, eliminating the option of house arrest for those who have committed serious crimes, including sexual assault, and no longer allowing pardons for such offences;
- introducing Canada’s National Action Plan to combat human trafficking;
- Budget 2012’s measure for funding for shelters and violence prevention programming on First Nation reserves; and
- more than $1.3 million, approved in 2009, for “Uniting to End Violence Against Women,” a 36-month project to build a nation-wide network linking women’s shelters.
As we work toward a more peaceful, more equitable society, we will succeed only if we work together. On December 6, may we pause to reflect and remember the women who have died, then resume our work for change.