National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

November 25, 2021

On December 6, we observe the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day was established by the Parliament of Canada in 1991 to mark the anniversary of the 1989 murders of 14 women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, who were killed because of their gender. We come together to remember the victims, while also reflecting on the woman, girls, LGBTQI2S and gender diverse individuals for whom gender-based violence continues to be a daily reality.

Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused spikes in gender-based violence here in Canada and around the world. The Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses says 20 per cent of the 70 shelters it represents have had increased crisis calls during the pandemic. Some police services are also noticing more domestic violence reports. One in 10 women is very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home, suggests a Statistics Canada survey about COVID-19.

LEARN MORE: Organizations warned of deadly upward trend in femicide at pandemic’s onset. New data confirms their predictions.

Health-care workers are no strangers to violence and harassment against women. ONA is a strong advocate for violence prevention in our workplaces and in society. Registered nurses and other health-care professionals face precarious and dangerous situations on the job each day. It is our goal, as the union for nurses and health-care professionals in Ontario, to work with employers, governments and health system stakeholders to ensure our members’ workplaces are safe and free from harassment and violence.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begins on November 25 with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on December 10 with International Human Rights Day. It also includes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The 16 Days of Activism are an opportunity to come together to call out, speak up and renew our commitment to end gender-based violence.



Click here to download the English poster.

Click here to download the French poster.






ONA’s Health and Safety webpage has a dedicated section for resources and information about violence and harassment in the workplace. We have also prepared a guide for ONA members on workplace violence and harassment. If you would like to request a printed copy, please email

Learn more about The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH) is a coalition of first stage emergency women's shelters, 2nd stage housing organizations and community-based women organizations who work towards ending violence against all women.

The Rose Campaign is YWCA Canada's national advocacy campaign to end violence against women and girls. The Campaign takes its name from the original Rose Button, created to commemorate the young women who were killed at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal.

The Canadian Women's Foundation presents the facts and FAQs on gender-based violence.

The Women and Gender Equality Canada website has information and resources for individuals and organizations hoping to raise awareness and take action against gender-based violence and discrimination.

Canadian Labour Congress - Gender Equality

Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) – Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence

If you are seeking abuse related services/support, contact one of Ontario’s 24-hour provincial helplines:

Assaulted Women's Helpline
Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511 (multilingual services available)
Toll-free TTY: 1-866-863-7868
or #SAFE (#7233) on your Bell, Rogers, Fido or Telus mobile phone

Fem’aide Helpline (French only)
Telephone: 1-877-336-2433 (services available in French only)
TTY: 1-866-860-7082

Talk4Healing (Helpline for Indigenous Women)
Toll-free: 1-855-554-4325 (multilingual services available)

Find your closest violence against women service via