A word from FGM – December 2020

The issue I want to talk to you about this month can feel overwhelming, but it is essential that we discuss it as a community; and that is violence against women. December 6th will mark the 31st anniversary of the Montreal Massacre at École polytechnique, a tragedy that deeply affected all Montrealers. I was 17 years old at the time, and this horrific event left its mark on me. Its commemoration stands, every year, as a painful reminder of the destruction firearms can cause, of course, but also of the fact that we have not yet reached true gender equality in our society.

Violence against women takes many forms, often insidious and sometimes invisible to the public eye. In Greater Montréal, the available data are distressing proof of how prevalent it is. In 2017, Montreal posted higher rates of reported violent crime against girls and women under 25 than Toronto, Vancouver or Ottawa. Montreal also posted the highest rate of police-reported violence between partners among those four major cities. In 2018, the proportion of girls under the age of majority who were victims of domestic violence was one and a half times higher in Montreal than the provincial average. That’s understandable, considering it has gone up 30% since 2015.

Putting an end to violence is urgent

Our community falls well short when compared to its neighbours, and the situation is not getting any better. This is intolerable, and we have to find ways to fix the situation. It is a matter of safety, health and dignity for all women.

On the other hand, we should note that the overall rate of domestic violence in Québec is decreasing. Between 1999 and 2014, it has fallen by more than half. That shows us that solutions do exist. Therefore, it’s incumbent on us to take a harder look at what can be done. We should remain hopeful that, one day, we can collectively stamp out the scourge of violence against women. But until then, we have a duty to help those who still fall victim to it.

That duty drives the remarkable organizations whose work FGM and its donors support. In closing, I also invite you to follow the 12 Days of Action campaign against violence towards women, until December 6th. Thank you for reading, and talk to you soon.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

December 2020

The Fonds hommage de la Fondation des victimes du 6 décembre contre la violence

In 2005, the Fondation des victimes du 6 décembre contre la violence against women created a memorial fund at FGM.

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The Contact-Elles service from La Dauphinelle

The Contact-Elles crisis line lets practitioners assist and accompany women by phone, email or text message, 24/7.

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(in French only)

Nouvelle-Étape est une maison qui offre aux femmes et à leurs enfants des services spécialisés en violence conjugale post-séparation.

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