Annual Vigil Against Violence to Focus on Gender Based Violence

Fifteen percent of Canadian female students said they had a sexual act forced on them, in many cases occurring before Grade 7, according to a 2019 CBC Marketplace anonymous survey of 4,000 students.

That means in a class of 20 female students, three were sexually assaulted, this online survey of students across Canada from ages 14 to 21 found.

Male students were not unscathed as nine per cent of them reported being sexually abused by their peers.

The problem is gender-based violence still remains largely unreported, said Heather Conlin, co-president of the Southport chapter of Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW).

“Violence against women is not just a women’s issue. Men need to be included in the discussion and solution. Raising awareness is a good beginning, but concrete actions are required in families and schools from the very beginning to develop respect for all and healthy relationships,” Conlin said.

This Dec. 6 marks the 30th anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in which 14 women were murdered simply because they were women. And for the 29th year, CFUW Southport will be holding a vigil on Dec. 6 to remember these women and other victims of violence.

This year, CFUW Southport will also highlight the White Ribbon campaign that encourages men and boys to wear a white ribbon from Nov. 25, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, until Dec. 6, which is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action of Violence Against Women.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Dec. 6 vigil which starts at noon at Coulter Parkette in Port Elgin