Toronto Sun

Friday, December 7, 2001

Women mark '89 massacre


Twelve years after Marc Lepine slaughtered 14 engineering students at the Ecole Polytechnique, there's been no drop in the amount of violence against women, activists say.

"We haven't been able to stop the violence," said Sandy Fox of Toronto's Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children.

"We haven't been able to lower the numbers of women who are being assaulted at home, or those who are being sexually assaulted, or the numbers of young women who are sexually assaulted on a date," Fox said.

Thousands of Canadians paused at candlelight vigils and ceremonies across the country yesterday to reflect on the tragedy of Dec. 6, 1989, when Lepine walked through his school with an assault rifle. He shot 14 women while ranting about feminists and then he turned the gun on himself.

The mass murder became a rallying cry for Canadian women, who mark its anniversary with calls for an end to violence.

But the violence has continued. A Statistics Canada survey on victimization released last year noted that 1,468 Canadian women were killed by their husbands between 1979-1998, and 27,000 cases of spousal violence were reported to police in 1999 alone.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.