Everywhere in the world, each year, from November 25 to December 10, multiple initiatives are launched and voices are raised to denounce violence against women. In Quebec, we specifically honour the 12 days between November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and December 6, the date commemorating the anniversary of the 1989 anti-feminist massacre at the École Polytechnique, in which 14 women died and 13 other people were injured.
Numbers speak for themselves
The official figures are staggering, making it hard to know where to start. More than 80% of domestic or sexual violence victims are women and girls. 66% of victims of sexual violence are under the age of 18. Only 5% of sexual assault incidents are reported to authorities and barely 3 in 1,000 lead to a conviction. One in every five women reports having been a victim of sexual assault before the age of 18.
And at YWCA Montreal?
Sadly, in our day-to-day interactions with program participants, we all too often witness the prevalence of violence against women. Whether this is within our residential services, during consultations at our legal information clinic, or even among women participating in our employability + or other programs, the many faces of violence are always a common thread.
Each day, the women being assisted by our teams of therapists, counsellors, facilitators, or project coordinators share confidences, disclose information or appeal to us for help. Each day, our team members welcome, listen to, help or refer these women to ensure that none of them is without some form of support. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team. Just as we would like to thank you for your support in helping us in this fundamental fight that is at the heart of our mission: eliminating gender-based violence.