UVic events raise awareness of violence against women

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (RAVAW) is fast approaching. This event, which officially takes place on Dec. 6, commemorates the tragic events that transpired at the École Polytechnique in Montreal on that day in 1989. Because the 14 people killed that day were all women, and were in fact singled out because of their gender, this day is set aside to help the nation reflect on violence against women.

UVic has featured events to commemorate this day since the early ’90s, and usually classes will be canceled for an hour to allow all students to participate. This year is no different.

On Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, three stations will be set up where staff and students can make red buttons to wear on their shirts. These pins will have the word “Resist” on them, followed by a line where people can write in what they are resisting—resist violence for example. Then volunteers will press the created message into a pin for the participant to wear on their shirt. “I was thinking about poppies,” says Renay Maurice, one of the events organizers. “I love that they do that every year. It’s a visual that just keeps hitting you.” Maurice simply wants “to create that same kind of vibe, and that’s why we’re starting a week in advance, so hopefully people will wear their buttons every day until the main event.” The button-making stations will be set up from 12–2 p.m. in Cadboro Commons, the Fraser Building, and the Students Union Building.

Then, on Nov. 28 from 3-5:30 p.m. in Cinecenta, there will be a screening of the documentary Keepers of the Fire by Christine Welsh, followed by a panel discussion. The National Film Board of Canada says the film “profiles Canada’s Native ‘warrior women’ who are protecting and defending their land, their culture and their people in the time-honoured tradition of their foremothers.”

The main event will be on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. in the Michèle Pujol Room in the Student Union Building. Classes will be canceled from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. to allow students to participate. Free vegetarian dahl will be provided and exhibits will be on display.

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