CK honours victims of gender-based violence

The names of the 14 women killed in the December 6, 1989 massacre at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique engraved on a memorail at the University of Windsor. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Chatham-Kent residents will gather at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham Thursday evening to honour the victims of the Montreal Massacre.

It was 29 years ago today that 14 women were gunned down at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in an act of gender-based violence.

To honour them and other victims gender-based violence, the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre and the CK Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against Women will be hosting a screening of an award-winning documentary called Listen To Me.

The film follows the story of Farrah Khan, a counsellor who runs visual and expressive arts programs that focus on several issues including sexual assault, forced marriage and domestic violence.

“[The film] really shows how important these sorts of programs are for young women — to give them a voice in a safe environment,” said Michelle Schryer, executive director of the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre. “It also provides a platform for young women to be strong and empowered in shaping their own future.”

Last year’s event drew a diverse crowd as the centre showed the film No Place to Hide: The Rehtaeh Parsons Story. Schryer expects a good turnout again this time, adding it’s not just an event for women.

“Sometimes four generations have been in attendance — often three generations,” said Schryer. “There are a lot of people who have experienced violence in their lives, a lot of people who provide services for people who have experienced violence… family members, too.”

The free event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a commemoration of the events that took place at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal on December 6, 1989. Parking is also free and refreshments will be provided.