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Calls for action in Sudbury to stop violence against women

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Dec. 6 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It started in 1991 following the femicides of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989.

There was silence at a vigil at city hall in Sudbury on Wednesday to remember victims of gender-based violence.

Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre recently led the charge to declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in Sudbury, joining other municipalities in northern Ontario.

“We need to recognize certainly the situation that we are in right now in northern Ontario,” Lefebvre said.

“Recognize what happened in Sault Ste. Marie and as we look at our communities the level of violence against women has just increased year over year ... so we need to call it out and stop it.”

The YWCA of Sudbury and the Sudbury Women’s Centre hosted the vigil and said more resources are urgently needed to address the violence.

“We need to offer more prevention programs and intervention programs. We need more counselling and support for survivors of gender-based violence and the perpetrators,” said Marlene Gorman, executive director of the YWCA Sudbury.

Other messages at the vigil were about living free from violence and being filled with compassion.

“Behind this message is to be able to stand up if you are seeing someone who may be going through a situation that they need some help,” said Giulia Carpenter, executive director of the Sudbury Women’s Centre.

“Have that compassion and talk with them and be able to send them to a resource that would be able to help them.”

Organizers said they hope the message that we remember, we listen, we learn, we act, resonates with everyone. 

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