Cindy Oliver: On December 6, let’s pledge to end violence against women

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      It’s a grim anniversary, but one that needs to be remembered. Twenty-five years ago, on December 6, 1989, 14 women were murdered at the École Polytechnique de Montreal. Although the massacre is regarded by criminologists as an example of a hate crime against women, it is remembered in the broader community as a stark example of how violence against women has tragic and horrific consequences.

      The commemoration of the events of December 6, 1989, reminds everyone of the urgent need to do more to end violence against women and to take more proactive measures to address the related issue of domestic violence. A recent research collaboration between the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the University of Western Ontario found that close to 40 percent of women respondents to the survey reported experiencing domestic violence from an intimate partner. The study also found that aboriginal respondents, respondents with disabilities, and those indicating a sexual orientation other than heterosexual were particularly likely to have reported experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime.

      The research confirms that we need to do more. Governments need to take more proactive measures, both legislative and program related, not only to address the root causes of violence against women, but to provide real and effective protections for women who experience violence. Unions and employers can also be part of the solution by making respectful workplaces a reality, advancing pay equity, and ensuring that workplace policies support the career aspirations of women.

      This December 6, make a pledge to work with colleagues at your institution to end violence against women in our communities and workplaces.




      Dec 4, 2014 at 2:55pm

      Thank you for writing this article, and commemorating those murdered women. I was particulary saddened to see that violence against women has not gone down in Canada (40% of women have experienced violence); just shows that are so called "conservative" politics are misogynistic and need to evolve. Equality and safety for all please!


      Dec 4, 2014 at 6:35pm

      Men are far, far more likely to be the victims of violent crime than women. These kinds of articles do nothing but polarize society even further.


      Dec 5, 2014 at 7:35am

      "Men are far, far more likely to be the victims of violent crime than women. These kinds of articles do nothing but polarize society even further"

      Yes, at the hands of other men, Einstein. That would be the massive bloody point you are missing.

      If you want to get into a statistics war about the issue, to paraphrase my favourite Soviet leader, "I will bury you"

      A polarized society would suggest that men and women are equally likely to be victims of violence at the hands of the other gender, and both genders are equally likely to be the victims of negative social attitudes and stereotypes.

      Men commit in excess of %80 of all murders and violent crimes in Canada, and over %95 of all sexual assaults and sexual assaults against children. That is what you call a polarized society.

      When women start killing men, raping men, beating men, and shooting multiple men in violent crimes sprees simply because "they are men", get back to me with your nonsense.

      Is there seriously something wrong with you?


      Dec 5, 2014 at 8:05am

      Some of the reasons that violence against women has not gone down may include: More women are reporting it. There is a lack of understanding of the root causes and the fixes have been ineffective. And probably the most realistic is that violence in general has not gone down. I don't believe that there is more than a superficial difference between violence against women and violence against other men. Feminists need to broaden their view of the subject or, better yet, start listening to what men have to say about it. Research in general is all about asking the right questions and the current paradigm is flawed.


      Dec 5, 2014 at 8:26am

      @Desicant. Wow. Just wow. Is it really always about you? Try to consider the fact that "violence" and "violent crime" are two different things.

      open your eyes

      Dec 5, 2014 at 8:42am

      Men are just as likely to be victims of violence as woman. Lets show a little equality where it counts on topics like this.


      Dec 5, 2014 at 12:30pm


      "Yes, at the hands of other men, Einstein"

      And that just makes it all hunky dory then, right?

      You are a very sick MD. Physician, heal thyself.