FTP commemorates Montreal Massacre

December 7, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Written By: Jasen Obermeyer

Family Transition Place (FTP) has commemorated the Montreal Massacre by holding a candlelight vigil, raising awareness and celebrating International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The first day of the annual event was November 25, the start of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The campaign ends this Saturday, December 10, which is International Human Rights Day and the start of the White Ribbon Campaign, a movement by men working to end violence against women.   

FTP’s annual vigil remembers the Montreal Massacre. On December 6, 1989, at the Polytechnique Montreal, an engineering school with Montreal University, Marc Lepine, 25, shot and killed 14 women, injuring four men and 10 other women before killing himself. Mr. Lepine claimed he was “fighting feminism.” The day is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.   

Norah Kennedy, FTP’s executive director, says the day is very significant for FTP. “It’s probably the most somber day of our year because it is representative of the fact that violence against women is still so prevalent in our society.”

FTP has been a shelter and counselling service since 1984, and according to its website, provides “critical services to women and their children who have experienced abuse and unhealthy relationships.”

Ms. Kennedy says the shelter is full every night; they answer roughly 3,000 calls on their crisis line every year and took in 100 women and their 60 children last year.

FTP has programs in schools in Dufferin and Caledon, educating on violence against women, which Ms. Kennedy says she hopes for a change, the next generation of boys and girls knowing a relationship doesn’t have violence and power.

“What I’m really thrilled by is that we’ve seen an increased attendance of men.”

Giving a speech on the massacre, thanking everyone’s support, Ms. Kennedy says it’s important to remember, as violence against women is still an huge issue.

“Today is very symbolic for us because it helps us to reflect on why the violence happens. It puts into focus just how extreme that violence can get.”

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