National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

Dec. 6 Fountain Commons 4.30-6.30


In 1989, fourteen young women were targeted and killed because of their gender in a mass shooting at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. This hate crime led Parliament to designate December 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

On December 6, we remember each of these women: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

Gender-based violence continues to be pervasive. The statistics are stark. One in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence. Emerging data show that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, have intensified since the outbreak of COVID-19, a phenomenon the United Nations has termed the Shadow Pandemic and that speaks to the gendered impacts of the pandemic.

In Canada, higher rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people remain part of the damaging systemic effects of colonialism. On November 25, the Native Women Association of Canada announced the launch of #AnswerTheCalls campaign for 16 Days of Activism on the 40th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. “This campaign will run until International Human Rights Day on December 10. For the next 16 days, we will demand real action be taken to answer the MMIWG Calls for Justice to end the violence against Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people”

On December 6, we recommit our efforts to ending gender-based violence. Because of COVID-19 public health measures, we cannot commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women as we normally would. Instead, Women’s and Gender Studies has organized an event that will gather members from various communities to share perspectives, insights, and plans for action against violence.

Participants will include Elder Carolyn Landry from the Annapolis Valley First Nation, Autumn Doucette from the Mi’kmaw Healing Family Healing Centre, Ginger MacPhee from Chrysalis House, Marjorie Lewis as the University Chaplain, Polly Leonard from the Equity Office, Jennie Rand from the School of Engineering, Kathryn Bell from Psychology, President Peter Ricketts, and Oonagh Proudfoot Executive Director from Alumni Affairs. The event is supported by WGST and the Office of the President.

If you have been impacted by violence and need support, there are resources both at Acadia and in the greater community available to you, including:

  • Acadia’sCounselling Centre offers free and confidential services for all Acadia students and is here to support your mental health needs.
  • If you have been impacted by sexualized violence, Acadia’s Sexualized Violence Response and Education Coordinatoroffers confidential support and advice and can be reached at:
  • The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, located in Halifax, is a feminist organization working to eliminate sexual assault/abuse, and to change the current socio-political culture that fosters sexism, social injustice and other forms of oppression.
  • Chrysalis House is a local, non-profit grassroots organization that provides shelter, support, counselling, advocacy, and outreach for abused women and their children in Kings, Annapolis, and West Hants counties. You can call their 24 Hour Help Line at 902-679-1922 or toll-free at 1-800-264-8682
  • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: If you are feeling sad or distressed and want to talk, call 1-855-242-3310. Service is available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French.
  • NS Mental Health Crisis Line is a toll free, 24/7 service delivered by the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team (MHMCT). This provincial service provides crisis intervention for children, youth, and adults experiencing a mental health crisis or mental distress. Dial 1.888.429.8167


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