Action and awareness needed on National Day of Remembrance

In recognition of the National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women in Canada on Dec. 6, York’s Centre for Human Rights will focus on action and raising awareness in the weeks leading up to the day.

The centre’s Diversity Peer Education Team will set up tables in the Bear Pit today from 11am to 1pm, and in the Vari Hall Rotunda on Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 11am to 1pm, to collect and conceptualize definitions of violence. Residence Life will also set up tables in several residences on campus. There will also be a poster campaign.

This is being done to broaden campus awareness about the notion of violence, since it can have many definitions and mean different things to different people. Team members will ask people to help define what violence means to them. The students’ definitions will then be displayed on a large screen or TV in Vari Hall on Dec. 6.

In addition, the Centre for Human Rights will ask people to take action on Dec. 6, from 10am to 4:30pm in the Vari Hall Rotunda, by making a public written commitment to combat violence, which will form part of a display piece on violence against women. The centre will also hand out cards or pamphlets listing 10 things people can do to end violence against women, along with an attached white ribbon that people can take away to wear in support of the cause.

The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line will also have tables leading up to Dec. 6, as well as on the National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, to provide general education about violence and sexual violence. They will also be encouraging people to fill out commitment pledges.

A silent march with debriefing will start at 4:30pm in Vari Hall, with refreshments following the event.

The Day of Remembrance was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada to mark the anniversary of the murders of 14 women in 1989 at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women, in an act of gender-based violence.