Saturday, December 6, 2008

19th anniversary of Montreal Massacre rememberances today

19 years ago today, a misogynist gunman shot 14 women engineering students to death in a hate fueled attack on women at the University of Montreal before killing himself. Today, vigils and rallies are being held across Canada, some of which are subsumed in the current political turmoil in that country.

Marc Lepine, then 25, killed 14 women engineering students and faculty at the L'ecole Polytechnique in Montreal after claiming that women took his place at the school. Since then, December 6 is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The White Ribbon Campaign is also active in the fight against male violence against women.

Sciencewomen remembers the victims of the Montreal Massacre.

Genevieve Bergeron, 21, was a 2nd year scholarship student in civil engineering. Helene Colgan, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and planned to take her master's degree.

Nathalie Croteau, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering.

Barbara Daigneault, 22, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and held a teaching assistantship.

Anne-Marie Edward, 21, was a first year student in chemical engineering. Maud Haviernick, 29, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials, and a graduate in environmental design.

Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31, was a 2nd year engineering student specializing in engineering materials.

Maryse Laganiere, 25, worked in the budget department of the Polytechnique.

Maryse Leclair, 23, was a 4th year student in engineering materials.

Anne-Marie Lemay, 27, was a 4th year student in mechanical engineering. Sonia Pelletier, 28, was to graduate the next day in mechanical engineering. She was awarded a degree posthumously.

Michele Richard, 21, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials.

Annie St-Arneault, 23, was a mechanical engineering student.

Annie Turcotte, 21, was a first year student in engineering materials.

The years after the Montreal Massacre featured a push for tougher Canadian gun control, culminating in a gun registry and improved police measures which minimized casulties at the Dawson College shootings in 2006 at Montreal. Greater representation of women engineers in Canada also was pushed as a goal for Canadians to achieve.

However, in Canada (and in all parts of the world), women are still under attack, especially by those who profess to "love" them. Renee, a womanist Canadian blogger, gives these stats:

In a report for Statistics Canada, completed by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statics that compiled a statistical profile in the year 2004, girls and women by far constitute the number of those who have been exposed to violent physical and sexual acts.

• In 2002 females accounted for 8-in-10 (85%) of all victims of spousal violence reported to the subset of police departments. Young females aged 25-to-34 experienced the highest rates of spousal violence.

• In 2002, girls represented 79% of victims of family-related sexual assaults reported to a subset of police departments

• In 2002, older females were more likely than their male counterparts to be victims of family-related violence. Of the approximate 1,100 older adult victims of violence by family members, about 700 (or 65%) were females. This is largely attributed to the fact that females make up the majority of victims of spousal violence.

• Males made up a large proportion of those accused in family violence against older adults, accounting for nearly 8-in-10 perpetrators. Approximately 22% of accused were males aged 65 or older, most often spouses and over one-third were between 35 and 54 years of age, typically adult children.

• Data from the Homicide Survey indicate that between 1993 and 2002, women were more at risk than men of being killed by their spouse (8 homicides per million couples compared to 2 homicides per million couples). The risk was also higher among younger and common-law spouses.

But the main thing is for men to remember that when you are dealing with a woman, you are dealing with someone's daughter, sister, and friend. Acts of abuse, even if not violent, are acts of power over women, not partnership with them.

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