Women’s Initiatives For Safer Environments - Initiatives des Femmes pour la Sécurité Environnementale

Call us: 1-613-230-6700


Please consider a donation to WISE to support us in our work

Donate now

2024 AGM

Join us April 22nd for WISE's 2024 AGM

Learn More


By: Anonymous 

December 2021

I’ve been involved in helping to organize activities to educate the public on violence against women for over 20 years.  These events include: International Women’s Day Celebrations, ClothesLine Event, Take Back the Night Marche and Vigils for the December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women.  While each event has their own specific focus, it’s the Vigil that hits hardest each year.

The Vigil memorializes the 14 women victims of the Montreal massacre in 1989 and pays tribute to women from our own communities who have paid the highest price for living with violence -  murder!   

Names that will never leave me are:  

Ardeth Wood in 2003 who went missing and whose body was found on a local bike path. Her murder sent chills around the city causing women to lock themselves at home in fear for weeks. 

18-year-old Jennifer Teague in 2005, who went missing after her shift at a local business; later found murdered. In the next year, 27-year-old Francine Mailly and her 3 children Jessica, Brandon and Kevin were murdered in a house in the east end by the husband/father.

52-year-old Nassima Chamouri was found hanged in her living room while her 83-year-old mother Afife Saroufim was found stabbed in the stairwell. Nassima’s estranged husband was charged with the murders.

I remember the 3 teenagers Zainab, Sahari and Geeti Shafia along with their aunt Rona amir Mohammad were all drowned in a submerged vehicle in Kingston. The girls’ parents and brother were charged with 1st degree murder. 

In December 2009, I’ll never forget the tragic account of 33-year-old Donna Ellen Jones-Hutt who was beaten and scalded by her husband and left to suffer injured on the basement floor and died days later.

These are just a few of the horrific stories we hear. We want the public to understand how prevalent this type of violence is. We want to wake everyone up to this horrific crime. Each year in Canada far too many women die at the hands of someone who claims to love them or knows them.

According to the statistics from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability:

92 women were murdered in Canada in the 1st 6 months of 2021. That is up from 78 in 2020 and 60 in 2019.
The total number of women and girls murdered this year in Canada is 159 - 58 in Ontario.
Every 6 days a woman is murdered by her intimate partner.
Indigenous women are 3.5 times more likely to experience gender-based violence and 6 times more likely to be murdered.

We know that too many women are suffering in our communities; right under our noses. In fact, they are our friends, colleagues, families and neighbours.

The pandemic has exacerbated the level of violence as many women were trapped with their abusers and had no escape due to lockdowns, had less access to service providers, lost their jobs in many cases, had more responsibility for schooling children at home, as well as many other stressers. 

The lack of affordable housing also contributes to women often remaining in an abusive situation as she has no where to move; even after fleeing to a shelter. Housing resources are in short supply. 

Since the 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence launched on November 25 with the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, are you wondering what you can do? 

Tell members of government to fund organizations working to end violence against women
Support a local shelter financially and by volunteering  
Reach out to anyone you think may be experiencing violence and share information with them.
Be there for the person experiencing violence; even if they are not ready yet to leave. It sometimes takes many attempts for them to leave.          
Learn the principles of Bystander Intervention
Attend a Vigil on December 6 to show your support.

Join with us locally this year at the Women’s Monument in Minto Park at 6 PM on the 6th, to remember these women who died this past year from male violence:

39-year-old Krista Quesnelle  Of Kingston

62-year-old Susan Rosenberg-Danese of Belleville

50-year-old Hanadi Mohammad of Ottawa    

44-year-old Shannon Ferguson Of Kitigan Zibi

3-year-old Orli Kpatcha of Gatineau    

5-year-old Liel Kpatcha of Gatineau

64-year old Linda Frederick of Barrhaven  


Gender-based violence needs to stop. You can play a part in making that happen! Everyone deserves to live violence-free!