Prince Edward Island Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Presentation on Family Violence Prevention
to the Standing Committee on Health, Social Services and Seniors
Presented by Jane Ledwell, Executive Director
and Michelle Jay, Program Coordinator
March 12, 2014
Excerpt from presentation, page 1:
Every year for over twenty years, Island women organize and host a Montreal Massacre Memorial Service on December 6th. We honour the memory of murdered women with roses and candles and Silent Witnesses. We remember the 14 victims of the Montreal Massacre of 1989, but also the 9 Prince Edward Island women who have been murdered since 1989 at the hands of men who knew them.
Some of these women’s deaths fell into the category of “family violence,” committed by dating partners, common-law or marital partners, or exes. But some of these deaths were not “family violence.” Some were murdered by acquaintances or neighbours. The women murdered in the Montreal Massacre were murdered by a stranger, but they were selected, singled out, and murdered because they were women.
This is part of the reason that the Advisory Council on the Status of Women talks about “violence against women and children” as well as “family violence.” As a province, we need to work on both. Both violence against women and family violence are about power and control. And, we argue strongly, the root causes of both are found in gender inequality which distributes power and control unequally in families and in society.