Lots of stories last week about violence against women as people reflected on what came to be known as the Montreal Massacre when 14 women were killed by a shooter at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal 28 years ago.
The sad part is that after sombre ceremonies — year-after-year reflecting on that horrific scene when a man went into the school and opened fire on women, just because they were female —things haven’t changed much.
The violence and even the killings continue to this day, with three women murdered in this province in the past year. That was three too many.
The domestic disputes continue and for some reason there are still men out there who believe the resolution to problems in a relationship is violence.
Janice Kennedy of the Bay St. George Status of Women Council made the statement, “first we mourn, then we fight for change.”
It’s a great sentiment, but at times like these when the assault and abuse continues, it must feel like women are fighting a losing battle.
Throw into the mix a person like Daryl Oakley, a second year community studies student at College of North Atlantic in Stephenville, who was the recipient of the Stephanie Cormier Chaisson Memorial Leadership Award last week.
It was presented at the same event that recognized the Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which was very fitting.
Oakley was quick to point out the huge problem relating to violence against women and how not much has changed in the past 28 years since the Montreal Massacre.
He recognized it was time for change and noted that what has instilled his support of women was his mom Helen, a femninist, his sisters who endured physical or mental violence, but overcame it, and the strong instructors and fellow female students in the program he is taking.
Then there’s Patrick Park Tighe, the executive director of the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, who also has lots to say about women being abused and how much of it goes on locally and right across the county.
“Violence against women is happening and we’re not seeing it slow down,” he said in an interview last week.
Because of that recognition, the centre is hiring a person to look at reducing the amount of violence in Bay St. George communities.
That organization has a different approach in that the researcher will reach out to the community and try to engage young men and boys involved in such activity or may become subject to it.
Park Tighe said there won’t be a lasting solution without the men being part of that solution. Without getting to the root problem, it’s hard to solve and this is likely the correct route to go.
“You’re not hurting other people if you haven’t been hurting yourself,” Park Tighe said.
When you think of it, that’s a person who needs help and hopefully it can be provided.