Break The Silence Stop Violence Against Women

London, Ontario

December 7, 2005


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Break The Silence Stop Violence Against Women
Break The Silence Stop Violence Against Women
dated December 7, 2005

London, Ontario
December 6, 2005

       As the names of the 14 victims of the Montreal massacre were read out on December 6th, sisters and brothers in communities across Canada gathered to remember and to re-dedicate themselves to stopping violence against women. Nancy McMurphy, CAW National Executive Board member, speaking in London Ontario recalled the words of a friend who escaped an abusive relationship.
Nancy McMurphy
CAW National Executive Board

       "I asked her what gave her the courage to get out of that situation. And she said she woke up in the morning and she realized that she couldn't do it any more, that she wasn't going to live and that her life was worth more, that her life was worth living and that she deserved better. And she did that for herself and for her children. And that is a message I believe we have to make certain we continue to build on. We have to get that message out to our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, to our friends and to our co-workers that the silence has to be broken and the abuse and the violence must stop."

       Canadian Auto Workers union Women's Director Julie White said while the union has donated $100,000 to women's shelters and launched the "Freedom and Equity for Women" Campaign, it is not enough. She urged people to take action during the coming federal election.

Julie White
CAW Women's Director

       "Listen carefully to those debates and discussions and really make them commit. Not just this airy-fairy stuff that "yeah we believe in ending violence against women," and absolutely put nothing in policies or funding into any of those initiatives. So let's make sure that when they say they believe in it, let's be clear and say "What are you going to do in terms of childcare? What's your position on affordable housing? What's your position on core funding for women's programs?"

       The London gathering also remembered a CAW Local 636 sister, Sandra Schott of Woodstock, who was killed by her husband this year. Local 636 president Ross Garrie said a trust fund has been set up to help sister Schott's children.

Ross Garrie
President CAW Local 636

       "We've had plant gate collections in our units in our local union, we've had pledges from our locals in Windsor. We've had pledges from Stratford. There's pledges coming in from all over Canada. To date those pledges have exceeded $37,000."

       CAW National Staff representative, Marilynne Lesperance who's mother died a violent death, said that action must be taken to prevent violence against women.

Marilynne Lesperance
CAW National Staff Rep.

       "We need to insist that the police and the courts heed the signs. We need to make change. We need to insist that a restraining order is just that. That it is restrained and people are arrested."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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