National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

November 23, 2023

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.

In 2022, the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability reported that, on average, one woman or girl is killed by violence every 48 hours. Women and girls are disproportionately harmed by someone they know, namely an intimate partner or family member. Domestic violence can carry over into the workplace, threatening women's ability to maintain economic independence.

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.


Learn More

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