Memorial on steps of Vancouver Art Gallery symbolizes number of women killed in B.C.

Hundreds of pairs of shoes lined the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Friday (December 6) to represent the number of women killed as a result of violence in B.C.

The shoes were part of an annual memorial on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, which marks the anniversary of the murder of 14 women in Montreal.

This is the 11th year the local memorial has taken place, according to organizer Pat Kelln.

“It’ s a way to not forget that women are still dying,” she said in an interview with the Straight. “We know of 898 women killed in this province over the last 20 years, and that’s only those that we know of.

“The shoes are because what does 100 mean, what does 300 mean? You don’t know. So the idea is to try to give a visual representation and try to be more impactful on the numbers.”

Kelln noted the shoes are donated to women in need following the memorial.

The organizer added that during the last four years, the event has prompted more people to ask what they can do to address violence.

“This is a societal problem, and it is only going to end when society says enough is enough, and that means each and every one of us individually need to do our part and say no,” she said. “It does not mean that you need to be a hero, you just need to no longer turn a blind eye to what’s happening around you.”

Other events held in Vancouver in recognition of the national day of action included a vigil at the women’s monument in Thornton Park, and a ceremony at the Granville and Georgia intersection.

Comments (19) Add New Comment
Someguy
Why not also count male deaths? I say sexism and misandry...

Violence against women is definitely disgusting, and yet we never talk about masculine victims. In some provinces the victims of spousal violence are more likely to be male than female (2009, BC, MB).. 2 provinces dont even consider violence against men (NL, PE), As well men are more likely to not report spousal violence :

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-224-x/85-224-x2010000-eng.pdf
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Amy Starkey
Someguy - I'm sure your stats are just as upsetting and disturbing as the stats of male violence against women. By all means, go ahead and organize a day of action to recognize it. No one is stopping you, and I bet no women would complain if you did so (if it was done in a respectful manner with the intention of honouring the lives of male victims of violence). However, this day has been named in honour of female victims of violence because it is the anniversary of the 14 women who were killed at a Montreal school by a man who targetted them specifically because they were women who were taking up spots in the Engineering program that he felt should be for men only. So today we honour all women victims of violence, in memory of the 14 who were killed just for being women. Today is their day. Go create your own if you want, but let these women Rest in Peace, please. Blessings to you and the men who have been killed by violence.
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Gregg
Why is the real reason 14 women were murdered in Montreal never mentioned - islam. Marl lapine's real name is Gamil Garbi.
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Some girl
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Amy Starkey
@Gregg - Because the women are still dead regardless of what religion the man is. I doubt it would be mentioned if he was Catholic, Jewish, Sikh, Zulu or Ancient Mayan either.
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evstarr
it is my opinion, after working in this field for more than 20 years that the stats showing more female assaults is because men are now more aware of the fact (at least in bc) that the person that calls the RCMP first is thought of as the victim. Women have often left a mark on the male while trying to protect themselves thus leading to them being now charged with assault.
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SC
Marc Lepine was born to a French-Canadian mother and a largely absent Arab/North African father. He identified himself as Marc Lepine, spoke French and never took any outward interest in his father's faith. so, Gregg's comment is ridiculous and just deflects from the discussion.
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Mavaddat Javid
Gregg, why not blame appellation alliteration instead of Islam? Has anyone researched whether people with the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of their first and last name are more prone to violence? This is a compelling hypothesis Gregg would suggest we look into.

Oh, also from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_L%C3%A9pine#Childhood:

Lépine was born Gamil Rodrigue Liass Gharbi on October 26, 1964 in Montreal, the son of Algerian immigrant Rachid Liass Gharbi and Canadian nurse Monique Lépine. A mutual funds salesman, his father was travelling in the Caribbean at the time of his son's birth. During his absence, Monique Lépine discovered evidence that her husband had been having an affair. Gharbi was a non-practicing Muslim, and Monique Lépine, a former Catholic nun who had rejected organized religion after she left the convent. Their son was baptized a Roman Catholic as an infant, but received no religious instruction during his childhood; his mother described her son as "a confirmed atheist all his life".
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Ben Thompson
I have read this with interest as a female friend from Canada posted it. What I find amazing is the fact that the message about 14 innocent women being killed is kind of being lost discussing what religion the killer was! It doesnt matter what religion what race what colour the guy was. What matters is the 14 innocent people lost their lifes because of someone elses beliefs. There is too much violence in the world carried out in the name of someone elses beliefs. Please just take a moment to reflect not just on the people who lost their lives but the other people it has also affected, families, lovedones, friends , children
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jeanine

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Not Another Right Wing Nut.
Not sure if this has anything to do with it but pornography plays a big role in how women are viewed & treated by men & believe me I've seen enough of how it degrades women.
Oh I like to think of myself as a open-minded person too.
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Glass Ceiling Breaker
I'm super glad we have more awareness about violence against women in our society. As Someguy mentioned, above, that there is also violence against men to be considered. Unfortunately the major perpetrators of both kinds of violence are men. So the problem is ultimately violent men. Thankfully our society is increasingly intolerant of violence as our populations are more and more awake and aware, sensitive to the cost of human suffering.

Tributes and memorials like this one are so sad, but also hopeful. It would be lost on us how far we've come if we didn't stop to remember from time to time.
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Leonie Zurakowsky
It is sad and pathetic that violence against women still continues and that men can use it to feel sorry for themselves.

Let's honour these women and do our best to prevent further violence against all human beings.
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riv
I've never seen such a carefully written 10-incher.

No mention of the murderers. Women killed. Hmm. Whole lotta passive sentence structure there.

That's some trick. Does this publication employ journalists, or public relatons flacks?

MALES.

There. Fixed that for you.

MALE VIOLENCE.

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Reading
The Stats Canada report cited by someguy, above, does not say there were more male victims than female in some provinces.

The charts to which he is referring show what proportion of victims come from each province, and divides the victims by gender. It looks like about 6.75% of male victims of spousal violence came from BC, while about 6.25% of female victims came from BC. That doesn't tell you anything about whether the total for one gender or the other is high, just what proportion from the total for each gender lived in that province.

The same report says that a similar proportion of male and female respondents reported experiencing some kind of spousal violence, but female respondents were more likely to report expeiencing multiple incidents of violence and more likely to report experiencing the most severe (i.e., life-threatening) forms of violence. Women were also more than three times more likely to be murdered by a spouse than men.

It helps to read the reports you're citing.

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Rachel
Wow, I've been away from Vancouver for years and missed this display until seeing it just now. Amazing and powerful.

Shame some of the comments derail the conversation into irrelevant nonsense. All senseless acts of violence should be talked about, yes, but use some intelligence about where and when a point is worth making.
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Someone who cares
Violence needs to stop.
The question to be asked is what is being done about violent males and females that injure or kill another person?

People need to be educated and taught things like respecting people, stress/anger management while young. Which seems to be a thing of the past or very few families teach children these things consistently as nowdays alot of parents are working long jobs and not home much and children run amuck and get into trouble at young ages.

Prison doesn't seem to help. It just makes violent people more violent.

These are my thoughts, let me know what you think. Interesting reading comments.
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RUK
Why the downvotes for RIV? It's true. Female victims of violent crime and male victims of violent crime report that males were responsible in 80% of these assaults.

I suppose she could have been nice and said "80% male crime" but, c'mon.
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Alan Layton
'Someone who cares' - I believe that people who commit mass murder or other violent acts have a lot more wrong with them than not being taught properly by their parents.
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