FACL BC Statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
December 6, 2020
Today, FACL BC observes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.1 On this day 31 years ago, 14 women at l’Ecole Polytechnique were singled out and murdered by a man targeting feminists.
Every year on December 6, we commemorate this day for the lives of 14 women that were mercilessly taken. It is a time to remember that all violence against women must be eradicated. On average, one woman or girl is killed in Canada every three days, and a total of 118 women and girls were killed in 2019.2 Every six days, a woman is killed by her intimate partner.3 Half of all women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual abuse since the age of 16.4
The crisis of gender-based violence impacts women, gender-diverse people, Two Spirit people, and transgender people of all genders. It also disproportionately impacts certain groups more than others, including members of Asian communities. Many survivors of violence, especially those who are marginalized based on race and other aspects of their identity, also face barriers to reporting violence and seeking help.5
Black, Indigenous, and racialized women, transgender and gender-diverse folks, members of the LGBTQ2S community, women with disabilities, young women, those living in poverty, and other marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence. It is also important to recognize the history of colonial gender-based violence in Canada. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that violence against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people has amounted to a race-based genocide.6
FACL BC stands in solidarity with all survivors and communities impacted by gender-based violence.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender-based violence in communities here in BC and across Canada, including the Asian community. Violence against Asian women has increased. Data from Project 1907, a grassroots group of Asian women, shows that women continue to be disproportionately impacted by racist incidents during the pandemic. In BC, women reported nearly 70% of anti-Asian racism incidents since the onset of COVID-19.7 There has also been an alarming increase in domestic violence in BC during the pandemic - the Battered Women's Support Services crisis hotline reported a 300% increase in calls.8
FACL BC urges you to reflect on the misogynistic violence that killed the 14 women at l’Ecole Polytechnique, and the actions you can take to eradicate all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence today, including systemic discrimination and barriers in the legal profession and our society.
FACL BC calls on governments, organizations, legal communities, and individuals to take action towards ending gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (from November 25th to December 10th), and beyond this.9
We have compiled a list of resources below to support survivors of violence and to encourage learning and action against gender-based violence. (Content warning: please note that some of these resources contain descriptions of violence.)
Information and ways to take action:
Resources for those experiencing gender-based violence:
2 https://femicideincanada.ca/callitfemicide2019.pdf at p. 7.
5 http://www.westcoastleaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/West-Coast-Leaf-dismantling-web-final.pdf at p. 6.
6 https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Executive_Summary.pdf at p. 1.