Violence against women

December 6th is National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women. On this day in 1989, fourteen women were gunned down at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. This event has led to much debate over the issue of violence against women in Canada, leading the country to be one of the first to build memorials to remember women victims of domestic violence. I wrote about that day and listed their names on last year’s post about the event. You can watch a video here of an interview with Sylvie Gagnon, who survived a bullet in the head in that fateful day.

This time I would like to remind you that according to Statistics Canada, 600,000 women in common-law or marital relationships reported in 2004 that they were physically or sexually assaulted by their spouse. Half of Canadian women can expect to experience an act of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

In a poignant article in today’s Toronto Star (“End violence against all women”), Jasmeet Sidhu highlights the plight of immigrant women, who often come to Canada accompanying their husbands and whose ability to report an abusive spouses is limited by cultural, social, and economic circumstances. Immigration leaves them economically dependent on their spouses and away from the kinship groups or family-support networks to which they belonged in their native country. She asks that the government make more of an effort to reach out to these women and give them support that is sensitive to their cultural constraints.

In Ontario alone, over 20 women are killed every year by men with whom they had been intimately involved.

As Sidhu rightfully points out, violence against women is not simply a matter of women’s rights, it is a human rights’ issue. Lest we forget…

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

6 thoughts on “Violence against women”

  1. Desde meu primeiro dia aqui os cartazes sobre violência contra a mulher ou contra a pessoa idosa me chamaram a atenção e fiquei na dúvida: será que aqui tem tanta violência assim ou será que a propaganda de combate a isso é mais agressiva?

    No Brasil sabemos que esse é um assunto quase corriqueiro, infelizmente, mas não vemos campanhas tão freqüentes contra esses atos.
    Bjs

  2. Aqui os casos parecem aumentar a cada dia, apesar das campanhas contra a violência às mulheres em todos os meios; muitas mulheres que faleceram sao imigrantes ( teve um caso recente de um casal brasileiro- ele a matou e depois suicidou- se).

    É um tema triste.

    beijos

  3. Por desgracia, parece que estamos muy lejos de algo parecido a una solución.

    En españa el tema está ahora muy activo en la prensa, y en la agenda poítica en España. Los resultados de la nueva ley, promulgada hace algo más de un año, indican que las medidas a corto plazo que puedan tomarse no solucionan en absoluto el problema.

    Evidemtemente, deben tomarse medidas a corto plazo, especialmente para proteger a las víctimas y para proporcionarles esa independencia que, como muy bien dices, es necesaria para que puedan, al menos, denunciar.

    Pero este problema parece que vaya a durar años, tal vez décadas, hasta que consigamos inculcar a nuestros hijos e hijas, que un hombre, por serlo, no tienen ningún derecho sobre una mujer.

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