A Message From Chief Larkin - National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

A message from our chief

Today, December 6, 2019, marks a very important day – The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

It also marks a tragic and unforgettable day in our history 30 years ago, when 14 young women were killed in a mass shooting at l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.

This was a senseless, cowardly, and devastating act of violence that shook our entire country. It forced many of us to come together in support and solidarity as we mourned so many young lives cut short simply because of their gender. It was a day that reminded many of us that violence against women can’t be – and won’t be - ignored.  

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women is also a day for us to commemorate the missing and murdered Indigenous women, trans-women and each and every woman in Ontario and across the world whose lives have been harmed or lost to gender-based violence.

Violence against women is a global issue, with women and girls all around the world fighting to exercise their basic human rights. It’s an issue that touches us all, that knows no boundaries, and that has significant ripple effects throughout every community. In Waterloo Region alone, we respond to approximately 6,000 domestic violence calls each year, making domestic and family violence one of the Service’s highest demands and priorities.

This is unacceptable.

No woman, child, or individual should ever suffer from violence or harassment. They should never be made to feel unsafe, or that there is no way out. They should never feel alone at a time they find themselves in their greatest need.

As a community, and as a Nation, we have a responsibility to start a conversation. It may not be easy, but it’s necessary.

We must teach the youth in our community about healthy relationships and consent-based relationships.

We must work to eliminate the stigmas associated with gender-based violence, and to step up when we know someone is suffering. We must not stay silent, but, instead, use our voices to ensure everyone, no matter their gender, experiences freedom from fear.

We are very blessed in Waterloo Region to have several services and organizations that are passionate about helping victims of violence.  It is my hope, not only as Chief of Police, but as a community member, that those experiencing violence will realize help is available and that their community - and their police service - stands with them.

Today, and every day, let’s vow to end gender-based violence and work towards a future where everyone feels safe, secure, and free.

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