The Province of Manitoba is recognizing the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women by sharing events of the past and voicing current concerns.

Ministers met at the Manitoba Legislative Building to hold a ceremony remembering the 14 women killed 32 years ago at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. After going over the events and holding a moment of silence, the conversation turned to domestic violence experiences today.

"More than 70 per cent of victims of domestic violence are women. The violence continues to be a brutal reality for women and their children who flee a violent household every day and the thousands of women who do not report their physical or phycological abuse," Minister Cathy Cox, the minister responsible for women, says.


Violence against women in Manitoba

Healthy Muslim Families Executive Director Humaira Jaleel says women who have immigrated to Canada may not know their legal rights. She says there is a lack of peer support and cultural-appropriate resources, wanting it to be taught that there is no place in any religion for domestic violence. 

"I hold in my heart and I say a special prayer for those sisters who, as we stand here, are suffering in silence. Who are brave and reach out but haven't found a way out of their violent situation yet." Jaleel says. "I know you will. You are brave, resilient, and have the power to find your own path."

Humaira JaleelHumaira Jaleel says there is no place for violence in any religion. (Screenshot: Government of Manitoba/YouTube)

Jaleel says that when the pandemic hit, violence against women "became its own pandemic." In the spring of 2020, shelters were deeply concerned about the drop in calls for help.

In an interview with  West Central Woman's Resource Centre Lorie English in April of 2020, she said the issue was city-wide.

When women are isolated and potentially isolated at home with their partner it becomes increasingly difficult for them to reach out for help," English said at the time.

Jaleel says the province's actions like emergency funds and a new text-based service made a big difference. She wants to see women become empowered and men become accountable.

"Violence can never be a family matter only."

Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Executive Director Diane Redsky, says decision-making power needs to be shifted to local and grassroots organizations.  

"The solutions have always been wherever Indigenous people are, particularly wherever Indigenous women are; those kitchen tables, board rooms, around sacred fires and ceremonies, and in Indigenous-led organizations across Manitoba," Redsky says.

redskyRedsky is the chair of the Urban Sub-Working Group that comes from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan. (Screenshot: Government of Manitoba/YouTube)

She says everyone must work together to co-develop and co-manage domestic violence approaches. Redsky says people need to continue to use their voice, power, and influence to end gender-based violence.

"This is particularly important for Indigenous women and girls, and two-spirited LGBTQQIA who continue to experience the highest rates of violence and are harmed by systems that continue to contribute and be responsible for creating vulnerability for Indigenous woman and girls, and two-spirit LGBTQQIA."


If you or someone you know is in need of support, the 24-hour Crisis Line for the Family Violence Prevention Program can be reached at 1-877-977-0007.