A candlelight vigil was held today at the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Headquarters, paying tribute to the 14 women who were murdered at École Polytechnique de Montreal, as well as each and every woman in Ontario whose life has been harmed or lost to genderbased violence.
Attendees heard from guest speaker Glen Canning. Glen Canning is an advocate for victims of sexual assault. He is the father of Rehtaeh Anne Parsons, a Nova Scotia teenager who was sexually assaulted by four males at a home near Halifax in November 2011. Rehtaeh ended her life April 4, 2013, following months of cyber-abuse and victim blaming. Mr. Canning has spoken about Rehtaeh’s case
internationally and across Canada.
In his remarks, Glen made a clear and unequivocal statement: “It is not just violence against women; it is actually men’s violence against women. The best way to honour victims is to engage young men to make change and start speaking up.”
The OPP encourages members of the public to watch the video of Glen Canning’s presentation on Facebook (@ontarioprovincialpolice).
Women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into account. Young women between the ages of 15 and 24 experience the highest rates of violence and indigenous women are more than three times as likely to report being a victim of spousal violence as non-Indigenous women.
During the vigil, Interim Commissioner of the OPP, B.W. (Brad) Blair said: “The
OPP is committed to working with our community partners to provide a trauma-informed approach to service for those who experience violence, and to provide a continuum of support.”