After missing a year due to COVID, the Trail FAIR society will hold a vigil Monday marking the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
“We’re pleased to be able to have an in-person vigil to commemorate the Montreal massacre and also to think about and vow to make things different for the many women since that time who have been killed because of domestic and other violence,” says Ann Godderis, an outreach worker at the WINS transition house, a program of the FAIR society.
The vigil will be held outside the Bridgeview Cafe starting at 5 p.m.
Godderis says it’s important to point out “the issue of violence against women has not gone away. And it’s going to take a lot of care and thought and not just remembrance but action to really bring an end to that terrible reality in our society.
“It’s just a way to bring that to people’s consciousness and hope they’ll even do one small thing to end violence or the threat of violence in their daily lives. Even just not laughing at sexist jokes or reaching out to someone you’re concerned about who might be having difficulties in their home. Any small action will make a big difference.”
Godderis says the event is not exactly as it was before the pandemic, for it will be held outside rather than inside, and masks and social distancing will be required. Prior to COVID, vigils were held on Dec. 6 for many years in Trail. Last year, the vigil was cancelled but other publicity reminded people of the anniversary of the massacre, in which 14 women were murdered at École Polytechnique.
Godderis says resuming the vigil this year comes with “mixed feelings.”
“We’re excited to come back and be present, but there’s no excitement about such a remembrance. It’s a very sad time. We’re pleased we can be together in some way.
“I hope people will come and if they can’t, think about what they can do or call us at Trail FAIR to talk about the possibility of action and what might make a difference with this plague on our society.”