From November 25, the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls, to December 6, our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, YWCA Canada’s Rose Campaign draws attention to violence against all women and girls and the need for action. The campaign name originates from a rose button created after 14 young women were murdered on December 6, 1989 in Montréal at L’École Polytechnique.
In 1989, the first rose button read: First Mourn, Then Work for Change.
In 2016, violence against women and girls permeates our daily news, our social media and our entertainment. From the American presidential election to Judge Robin Camp’s “why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?”, public discourse on sexual assault still excuses men who assault, and blames women who’ve been assaulted. Rose Campaign 2016 supports the movement for change with #NeverBlameTheVictim.
The Rose Campaign honours missing and murdered First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and girls. #NeverBlameTheVictim requires prompt police responses to reports of missing Indigenous women and girls and due diligence in investigations and prosecutions.
On December 6, Cambridge City Hall and buildings across the country are lighting the night against violence. Buildings, bridges and monuments will be lit to draw attention to the need for action on violence against women: 25 years after the murders of women at L’Ecole Polytechnique, violence is still with us.