Statement from COPE-SEPB on December 6

December 6, 2013

In 1991, the Canadian government established December 6th as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

This day was chosen to mark the anniversary of the brutal murder of 14 women in 1989 at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique. They were murdered because they were women.

On average, a woman is killed every 6 days in Canada by her intimate partner (Canadian Women’s Foundation).

As of December 2010, there were 582 known cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada (NAWL). More than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence on any given day in Canada (CWF).
COPE joins the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliates in promoting a survey on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is working collaboratively with researchers at Western University to launch a national survey to gather data on the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in the workplace. We encourage members to take the time to complete this ground-breaking survey.

When workers experience domestic violence at home, the impacts are felt in the workplace. A recent study by Justice Canada highlights this fact by estimating that employers lose $77.9 million annually as a result of domestic violence. But the costs, both financial and personal go far beyond that.

  • The adoption of a national action plan to address violence against women;
  • A national inquiry into the 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls;
  • Government budgeting at all levels to ensure full compliance with women’s social and economic rights;
  • The renewal of full funding to programs and services that support women;
  • Fiscal policies that bolster women’s economic autonomy;
  • Decent work (improved labour standards, pensions, etc.); 
  • Legal aid and feminist advocacy;
  • Educating boys and men towards ending gender-based violence;
  • Reliable data and statistics;
  •  Protections for women in the workplace; and
  • Strong legislation and enforcement on violence in the workplace.