Remembering victims of gender-based violence

From left, MS Joseph Ryan (BAdm) alongside LS Harveer Gill, LCdr Nicole Robichaud (XO), Cdr Blair Brown (CO), and CPO1 Darryl Dejong (Coxn) of HMCS Fredericton.

Fredericton sailors pay tribute to victims of gender-based violence

By LS Harveer Gill,
HMCS Fredericton

On Friday, December 6, the Ship’s Company of HMCS Fredericton took to Tribute Tower at CFB Halifax for the Annual Hands to Dinner. Immediately following the CO’s address – the room filled with laughter and celebration fell silent, if just for a moment, as two sailors addressed the Ship’s Company to lead a vigil.

Friday, December 6, 2018 marked the 29th anniversary of the massacre at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, a senseless act of violence where fourteen women were murdered because they were women. Following this act, December 6 was designated as National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost, the victims of the tragedies of the past – as well as victims of gender-based violence today. In addition to a small speech and a moment of silence, HMCS Fredericton set up a small display in the foyer of Tribute Tower – 13 white roses to represent the students, as well as one single red rose representing the administrator, all of whom had their lives taken on that day of December 6, 1989.

The National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence against Women takes place within the period known as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This takes place annually, beginning with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and ending with the International Human Rights Day on December 10. Each day is associated with an event that allows opportunities to increase awareness about the disproportionate levels of violence faced by women and across various groups and populations.