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CAUT statement on National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

(Ottawa — 6 December 2018) — Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women — is not only about remembering victims but is also a call to action.

On this day in 1989, 14 women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal were murdered in an act of gender-based violence (GBV) that shocked our nation.

CAUT condemns all forms of violence and marks this day as a reminder that women and girls in Canada, and around the world, continue to face levels of violence that are disproportionate and unacceptable.

In Canada, spousal/family violence consistently remains the most common form of violence against women, with 7 in 10 people experiencing such violence being women and girls. Trans people and lesbian and bisexual women and women with disabilities report even higher rates of intimate partner violence.

The stark reality is that every six days in Canada a woman dies at the hands of her intimate partner.

The first federal strategy to prevent and address GBV was introduced in 2017, in an effort to prevent such violence, and also to support survivors and promote better legal responses. CAUT applauds the government’s strategy and the further injection of funds in Budget 2018 which will target additional problems including teen dating violence and cyberbullying.

While some progress is beginning to be measured against the strategy’s goals, it will take much more effort before significant reductions in GBV are realized.

CAUT calls for continued government investment to stamp out GBV, and reminds individuals and organizations to take strong stands against misogyny and sexism which fuel such hate-filled acts. It is only once a true culture of respect is fostered in homes and workplaces that women and girls will no longer have to face such alarming and needless violence.