Vigil in Guelph for Montreal bloodbath anniversary to give attention to ‘femicide’ – Guelph

There will be a vigil happening in Guelph to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

The outdoor event is taking place Tuesday night at Marianne’s Park off Gordon Street starting at 6:30 pm

The event is hosted by Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis and it is to remember the 14 women who were killed by a gunman at L’Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.

There will also be the reading of names of the women who died this year as a result of gender-based violence.

“There were 52 women and girls who were killed in the last 52 weeks,” said Cindy McMann, a public educator at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis. “We like to take a second and read off the femicide list, and just to take a moment to acknowledge them and commemorate them.”

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The word “femicide” is being used more often to describe women who were killed by men, whether it is in a relationship or if the victim did not know her attacker. The University of Guelph held an International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25, featuring calls on the federal government to make femicide part of Canada’s criminal code.

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Professor Myrna Dawson of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences said this would enable police to keep track of data on the number of women who were murdered by men.

“That is what we’re trying to show with our work,” Dawson said in a news release. “That we are missing this information and that impacts the lives of women and girls and the risks they face, some groups of women and girls in particular.”

“There are motives that outline the idea that women are possessions, that they are in need of subordination, or are objects,” McMann said. “I think we need a word that captures that motive in order to properly represent what’s happening.”

There have been more reports of gender-based violence in the news in recent weeks, and in the past year, but McMann believes there has been some progress made towards ending it after an inquest in Renfrew, Ont., over the summer of three women who died at the hands of their partner.

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“It really highlighted a lot of the things that we can do at various levels of government, as individuals, and organizations that can really move the needle on gender-based violence.”

Tuesday’s vigil in Guelph will be the second in-person vigil since the pandemic. People attending the event are being advised to wear a mask. The vigil will also be livestreamed on the Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis Facebook page.

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