National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
November 28, 2022
On December 6, the Ontario Nurses' Association observes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The day was established by the Parliament of Canada to mark the anniversary of the 1989 murders of 14 women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, who were killed because of their sex. 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. We remember all the women and gender-diverse people who have lost their lives to gender-based violence, including Lori Dupont, RN, an ONA member, who was killed by a coworker who was also her ex-boyfriend, in 2005 while working at Windsor’s Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital.
About every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by their intimate partner. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused spikes in gender-based violence 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.
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 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.
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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.
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. Wrapped in Courage scarf sale: This November marks both Woman Abuse Prevention Month and the 10th Anniversary of Ontario’s Wrapped in Courage Campaign. The Wrapped in Courage campaign is organized by OAITH. Every year throughout the month of November, OAITH calls on all Ontarians to show support for survivors of women abuse by purchasing a purple scarf from a local women’s shelter. For more information see Wrapped in Courage scarf.
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.
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)
Talk4Healing (Helpline for Indigenous Women)
Toll-free: 1-855-554-4325 (multilingual services available)
Find your closest violence against women service via www.sheltersafe.ca.