On December 6, 1989 at École Polytechnique (a post secondary school in Montreal) a shooter went on a rampage. After separating women from men, the shooter killed fourteen women and injured ten others.
Since then, December 6th has been named “White Ribbon Day” as a day to remember those women, and all others who experience violence.
While massacres like the one in 1989 are thankfully rare, the statistics around Canadian violence against women are shocking:
- Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence after the age of 16.
- On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
- On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Every night, about 200 women are turned away because the shelters are full.
- Each year, over 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence—that’s about 12% of all violent crime in Canada. Since only 22% of all incidents are reported to the police, the real number is much higher.