MFR to hold virtual vigil calling for end to gender-based violence

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MANITOULIN – Communities across Ontario and Manitoulin Island, including Central Manitoulin, joined organizations like Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) in raising a Wrapped In Courage flag calling for an end to gender-based violence.

“Good afternoon, everyone, thank you for joining us here today,” stated Megan Gibson, Haven House shelter supervisor, at a flag raising held in Mindemoya on Thursday of last week. “As some of you know, November is Woman Abuse Prevention Month and communities across Ontario will be joining with us today to raise a flag to end gender-based violence. For the ninth year, the Wrapped in Courage campaign is mobilizing Violence Against Women shelters across Ontario to remind everyone that now more than ever, violence continues to be the greatest gender inequality rights issue for women, girls and gender-diverse individuals.”

“Since 1990, the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses has tracked over 900 media reported femicides across Ontario to bring awareness about gendered violence and killings,” said Ms. Gibson. “One in three women will experience gender-based violence in their lifetimes and these numbers increase exponentially for black, Indigenous and women of colour. We work to ensure that we remember the lives lost, bring attention to the violence women experience and take action to move our list to zero.” 

Ms. Gibson explained, “today, November 25, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. A Wrapped in Courage flag will be raised, and a proclamation will be declared by (Central Manitoulin) Councillor Dale Scott. This proclamation and flag raising signals a commitment to ending gender-based violence in our community and to ensure survivors they are not alone.” 

“Someone is always there to listen, provide hope and foster safety 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to Manitoulin Family Resources,” continued  Ms. Gibson. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” 

Dale Scott, Central Manitoulin councilor, then read a proclamation on behalf of the municipality, prior to the Wrapped in Courage flag-raising event.

Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) will be holding a virtual candlelight vigil and information session on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. 

“Our outreach department is hosting a virtual candlelight vigil and information session on Monday, December 6 from 6:00 pm-8 pm,” said Marnie Hall, executive director of MFR. See advertisement on Page 21 in this week’s Expositor for more information.

December 6 is the anniversary, observed annually, of the Montreal Massacre in 1989, when 14 female engineering students were murdered at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.