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Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime Marks National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada

OTTAWA (Ontario), December 6, 2010 — Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Sue O'Sullivan, released today the following statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada:

Today, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, we come together to honour and remember all the women who have been impacted by violence and to think about the broader impact deliberate acts of violence against women have for all of us.

This day was created to also remember the 14 young women whose lives were taken at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6th 1989, simply because they were women.

On that tragic day 21 years ago, the offender entered the school, separated the men from the women, declared his hatred for feminists, and went on to shoot 28 people. In the end, 13 aspiring female engineers and one of the school staff lost their lives. Across Canada, people were outraged by this act of violence against women, and they should be.

The problem of violence against women continues today and affects thousands of women every year, regardless of their race, age, social status or religion. Evidence of this is seen in the growing number of missing or murdered aboriginal women across Canada, as well as through the statistics on domestic violence across Canada, which show that women continue to be more likely than men to be victims of spousal homicide1, and that the majority of victims of spousal violence continue to be females, accounting for 83% of victims2.

Today is not only just a time for reflection and remembrance; it is a call to action. I encourage all Canadians to remember the women who have been victims of violence and to find ways to come together in their communities to address this problem. I also encourage the men and women who serve our public and care for our most vulnerable, including the Government of Canada, to consider the needs of these victims and how we can best meet their needs and concerns.

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime helps victims to address their needs, promotes their interests and makes recommendations to the federal government on issues that negatively impact victims.

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Media contact

Christina McDonald
Telephone: 613-941-3428
Email: christina.mcdonald@ombudsman.gc.ca