Family Transition Place holds annual vigil for victims of ‘Montreal Massacre’

December 14, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

A gathering of men and women came together in front of Family Transition Place in Orangeville to hold the annual vigil for the 14 women who were murdered at L’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in 1989.

The gathering, which took place on Dec. 6, took a stand for all the women who have been the victims of violence against women across Canada, but especially in Ontario, since the massacre.

Officially, Dec. 6 marked the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and presented an opportunity to reflect on society’s progress and that there’s still a long way to go.

There are 62 women on the list of domestic violence victims’ fatalities across Ontario, far more than ever before.

The increasing rates of femicide illustrate the continued need to advocate for the prevention of domestic abuse and the senseless murders that are too often a result of this behaviour.

While it is hoped that the list of victims of domestic violence gets smaller each year, this has not been the case. Every year, the list of names grows longer. Longer and closer to home for many of those left behind to wonder why nothing has changed, why some say nobody cares. But they do care, as witnessed by the gatherings at FTP and other places by the number of communities, including Orangeville, that have officially called this an epidemic. Hope springs eternal, and for all those in attendance on Dec. 6, there was hope.

The murders in Montreal, perpetrated by a man who openly confessed to hating women, opened the door, allowing the rest of the nation, if not the world, to recognize the depth and brutality of this problem. His actions shocked and saddened all of Canada and gave voice to those who opposed and reviled such devastating displays of inhumanity and hatred. Canada may not have stopped these tragedies and may perhaps never completely stop man’s inhumanity. However, there is a strong effort to combat this issue throughout communities across Canada. The many faces in the Conversation Circle at Family Transition Place attested to this fact. Certainly, there was and is despair at the slow rate of progress, but there is progress and that brings hope. Hope for a better, more just world and hope for an end to violence against women and all members of our society.

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