Ann Davis Transition Society and University of the Fraser Valley are inviting the public to a candlelight vigil in Chilliwack on Tuesday (Dec. 6) to commemorate the victims of the Montreal Massacre, and all victims of gender-based violence.
The vigil is slated for 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Ann Davis offices, 9046 Young Road.
“Violence against women and family violence is at a crisis across our country, globally, and right here in our own community,” said Patti MacAhonic, executive director of Ann Davis Transition Society.
Transition Society officials are seeing an “upsurge” of violence against women – and femicide.
“With unaffordable housing, economic pressures and not enough access to childcare, women who are in unsafe situations are being forced to stay much longer than they should be. Indigenous women, who already face higher levels of violence and abuse, are at high-risk, said MacAhonic.
The date Dec. 6 became the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a day to commemorate the terrible toll of the 1989 École Polytechnique tragedy where 14 students were singled out and murdered because they were women.
Ann Davis officials have organized a vigil to honour the victims of gender-based violence for the past 20 years. University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) joined forces to host the event five years ago.
“UFV is pleased to partner with the Ann Davis Transition Society on this important day of remembrance and action. In order to enact change, we must all consider what we can do in the days, months, and years ahead to play a role in eliminating gender-based violence,” said Joanne MacLean, UFV president and vice-chancellor.
While Dec. 6 is a day to remember, it is also a day of action.
“We stand together and we are also heartened to see a national action plan on gender based action that was recently released, said MacAhonic.
“Please join us at 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Ann Davis for this important memorial with speakers followed by a chance to meet with community members and have some hot chocolate and cookies.”
All are welcome. Bring a candle.
Ann Davis has been supporting women and children fleeing violence for more than 40 years, with services from counselling services to refuge at their transition homes. Last year ADTS had 6,800 bed stays, 1,435 children, with many turned away. To donate to Ann Davis Transition Society, payment gratefully accepted by cheque, cash or etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-792-2760, 202, or email email@example.com
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