Statements & Speeches

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 8, 2010

Honourable senators, on Monday, we marked the 21st anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, during which 14 young women were shot and killed because they were women.

Unfortunately, incidents like those are not uncommon around the world. Statistics show that women and girls are more often the victims of violence and assault. In Canada alone, close to 200 women or girls are killed annually in acts of gender-based violence. Victims of sexual assault are almost six times more likely to be female.

From November 25 until December 10, we are marking the 16 Days of Activism on violence against women.

Honourable senators, I hope that you noticed how on Monday, all flags on Parliament Hill were at half mast to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. We must never forget the many women who have been victims of violence or murder.

We also heard recently about the murder of a Toronto man by a crossbow. A son killed his own father due to years of physical and emotional abuse suffered by both him and his mother. Nora Fang, the abused mother, had a restraining order against her husband. This was not enough to keep her safe.

What transpired between the father and the son was a tragic result of violence against a woman — a mother.

This is only one recent example of violence against women in our society. More than 100,000 women and children are admitted to Canada’s shelters for abused women across this country per year. There is a need for more public awareness, vigilance, education and support for the victims.

Ending violence against women is one of our government’s priorities.

Since 2007, we have approved over $30 million in Status of Women funding for projects to end violence against women and girls. As a result, many community projects are under way to help the women and girls who desperately need it.

We have also launched a citizenship guide through Minister Jason Kenney’s initiative to highlight Canadian principles of equal and fair treatment of women and girls.

Honourable senators, by working together on such projects, we hope to put an end to all forms of violence against women and girls in Canada.