National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women 2018

November 22, 2018

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.

Since its inception, ONA has been 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.  This year, ONA Local 8 members from Windsor launched an innovative ad campaign to raise awareness about the threat of violence that front-line nurses and health-care professionals face on the job each day. The videos can be viewed on ONA's Workplace Violence website here. 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.

This year the theme remains #MYActionsMatter. This is a call to action for all Canadians to take concrete steps to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence. Women in Canada and around the world continue to face disproportionate levels of violence each and every day. #MYActionsMatter asks the question: what will you do? You can start by taking the pledge on their website here and asking your friends and family to do the same on social media.


We encourage ONA members, family, and friends to join us in observing the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

If you or your Local will be participating in activities to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, let us know by emailing and we will post the details here for other ONA members. We also invite you to submit any photos from your event - be sure to include the names and Local number with your submission.

See below for details about 2018 National Day of Remembrance events:
Check back soon as the event listing will be updated as information becomes available.



 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 purple scarf is a symbol of the courage it takes a woman to 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. Now in its sixth year, the campaign invites Ontarians to wear OAITH's purple scarves to show women and their children that their community supports them and they are not alone.

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 27 years ago 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.