30 Years Since The Montreal Massacre That Took The Lives Of 14 Young Women

Head of Women and Children's Shelter of Barrie says the dialogue needs to change

Teresa MacLennan says there are more women to remember.

The Executive Director of the Women and Childen’s Shelter of Barrie would love to tell people that aren’t any women to remember and that there aren’t any women that have been murdered this past year.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the murders of 14 young women at l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, killed simply because they were women.

MacLennan encourages people to attend some or all of the events that will take place in Barrie on this The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

There will be a flag-raising to half-mast at 4:30 p.m. Following the flag-raising, the In Focus: Shelter Me documentary will be playing in the City Hall Rotunda for the public to view. Opening remarks and the presentation portion of the evening will commence from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

In addition, a vigil will be held at 9 o’clock this morning at OPP headquarters in Orillia. Another is at 6 p.m. at La Maison Rosewood in Midland.

“Research is telling us that every six days in Canada a woman is killed by her intimate partner. New research now is indicating it’s more like every two and a half days,” says MacLennan. “We have a lot of work to do to fix this problem.”

To date this year, 34 women and 3 children have been murdered in Ontario, as a result of gender-based violence.

MacLennan says the key factor in dealing with violence against women is awareness and education. She says violence against women has been shunned and not talked about for too long.

“The shame and guilt of violence that happens to women has been on the backs of women. We need to change the dialogue.”

MacLennan says when someone comes to her and asks the questions of why did she stay and why didn’t she come forward, all of those pieces, she wants people to ask why he did that to her. MacLennan says let’s understand what men’s experiences have been that has caused violence to be part of how they deal with conflict.

“It is important for us to know the reasons why women stay, but we need to also ask the questions why did he do what he did.”