Campaign seeks an end to violence against women

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Lisa Goudy
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This candle was lit at a special event at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The single candle symbolized hope and action. Rebecca Lawrence photograph

The white ribbon campaign is about working to end violence against women.

“Basically wearing the ribbon is your pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women,” said Karen Closs, executive director of the Moose Jaw Transition House. “It’s not so much a grand public event, but we’ve got some presentations scheduled in a few places talking about violence against women and talking about the National Day for Remembrance and Action.”

Partners Against Violence, a group of men and women, sponsors the campaign. It runs from Sunday, which is the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, until Dec. 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Dec. 6 is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre in 1989 at École Polytechnique when Marc Lépine came into a class with a rifle, asked the men to leave and walked through the building, killing 14 women and injuring 10 women and four men.

Closs said the campaign started in Canada in 1991.

“There was a group of men that decided they had a responsibility to urge other men to speak out against violence against women. So they started this campaign of wearing a white ribbon ... It took off,” said Closs. “Sometimes it’s led mostly by men. Sometimes it’s men and women. Sometimes it’s about awareness. Sometimes it’s more focused on educating men and boys and what they can do to end violence.”

For more information, see Saturday's edition of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Transition House, Montreal Massacre, École Polytechnique Times-Herald

Geographic location: Canada

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