Today marks 30 years since the December 6, 1989 anti-feminist attack at Montreal’s École Polytechnique that resulted in the murder of 14 women.
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations honours the memory of these women whose lives were taken because of their gender and we stand strong against any form of gender-based violence on our campuses and in our communities.
We also acknowledge that the violent events of December 6 are not only historical, but are of significant concern right now given that gender-based violence continues to be experienced by women and members of the trans and non-binary communities on a daily basis. This sexist and transphobic violence is compounded by colonialism, racism, poverty, ableism, and homophobia, resulting in those who experience multiple forms of oppression being disproportionately impacted.
In March, the Ontario government released the results of the 2018 Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey. Over 63% of university students surveyed disclosed an experience of sexual harassment in the 2017-2018 academic year, and 75% reported that they have witnessed a form of sexual violence within the same period.
These results point to the substantial amount of work still needed to create campuses and communities free of gender-based sexual violence.
As a community of academics and educators we are committed to working towards an end to gender-based violence on our campuses and in our communities through education and prevention, while advocating for good public policy, resources, and support for survivors.