National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

November 27, 2020

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. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the tragedy, and as we come together to remember the victims we also reflect on the woman, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals for whom gender-based violence continues to be a daily reality.

ONA is a strong advocate for violence prevention in our workplaces and in society. Health-care workers are no strangers to violence and harassment against women. 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, government 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 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10. It also includes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The 16 Days of Activism is a time to both reflect on violence against women and to take action to end it.

Wrapped in Courage Campaign

ONA is proud to be the official provincial sponsor of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) 8th annual Wrapped in Courage campaign.

The purple scarf is a symbol of the courage it takes a woman leave her abuser. However, the courage of the woman is not enough. It takes the strength of an entire community to end violence against women. This year, the Wrapped in Courage campaign is not selling purple scarves, though. They are shifting their donation ask to the convenience of your mobile phone. All you need to do is text the word ‘COURAGE’ to 41010. 

Click here to donate $5-$25 dollars.

We invite our members, staff, family and friends to show their support for this important cause by getting involved in this initiative. Click here to learn how you can get involved.

Visit to learn more, and show your support on social media with the hashtag #WrappedInCourage.


A poster with a rose for the Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.


Click here to download the English poster.

Click here to download the French poster.





 ONA Resources

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

We are facing an epidemic of assaults in our workplaces. To help to tackle this serious issue, ONA has created tools and resources to help make our workplaces safer. Click here to find important resources including infographics, videos, guides and pamphlets.

We want to hear about your experiences with workplace violence. If you were pushed, kicked, scratched, chocked, punched etc. during a shift or if you have been verbally harassed, we’d like to know. Click here to share your story. Please Note: We encourage you to report any and all workplace violence and harassment incidents to your manager (it is the law to report all hazards) and report it to your ONA Bargaining Unit President. Unsafe workplaces hurt patients too.

More Resources

We are proud to support the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses' (OAITH) Wrapped in Courage campaign.

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

The Status of Women Canada website has information and resources for individuals and organizations hoping to raise awareness and take action to prevent violence against women.

The Canadian Labour Congress partnered with researchers at the University of Western Ontario and conducted the first ever Canadian survey on domestic violence in the workplace.