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- Ahern, Cate, Diallo, Jalynn, Kage, Kaleigh, Kandie, Lauran, Papo, Rain, Uriah, Vitor
Premier Stephen McNeil welcomed women’s community leaders, service providers and police, to Province House today, Dec 6., to commemorate women in Nova Scotia who have been harmed by violence. The ceremony recognizes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, established to remember the 1989 deaths of the 14 female engineering students killed at Montreal’s l’École Polytechnique. “An effective way to address violence against women is to take action together,” said Premier McNeil. “Government, community and policing partners, and individuals must unite to build stronger communities that are free from violence against women. “Organizations dedicated to helping women and families have been asked to do far too much with too little. To help change that government will invest $2 million a year for three years to develop and support a multi-year strategy that will provide services directly to victims and will also focus on prevention.” Results of public opinion research on domestic violence in Nova Scotia were also released at the event. The research indicated the majority of Nova Scotians, 94 per cent, recognize that domestic violence is a crime. Research also suggests that 90 per cent of Nova Scotians feel domestic violence, sexual violence and violence against women are serious problems in the province. “The taboo of talking about domestic violence and naming it needs to be lifted so we can start the conversation early with our young girls and young men to engage them in seeking healthier relationships and for those women living with it, we need to let them know there is hope in escaping it,” says Dolly Mosher, chair of Silent Witness Nova Scotia. “The goal of Silent Witness Nova Scotia is to educate communities about domestic violence; we do this in memory of the 51 women who have been murdered by their intimate partner in the province since 1990.” Status of Women Minister Kelly Regan released an update on government’s collaborative actions underway to address domestic violence under the Domestic Violence Action Plan. Government will work with organizations such as transition houses, women’s centres, second-stage housing and family resource centres to ensure they have the support they need. “We must be vigilant in our efforts to address violence against women,” said Ms. Regan. “Government and community must work together when it comes to ending violence against women in all of its forms. It is our collective strength, capacity and commitment that will move us closer to ending violence against women.” Work continues on the steps identified in the Action Team’s progress report on Sexual Violence and Bullying. “Together with our partners we will develop a provincewide response for victims and survivors,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “We will take the lead to develop a sexual violence strategy for Nova Scotia.” “Dec. 6 allows us time to remember and honour Nova Scotia women who have lost their lives to violence,” said Bea LeBlanc, chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “It is an opportunity to re-dedicate our efforts to work together to end violence against women.” For more information on the Domestic Violence Action Plan, and the domestic violence polling results, please visit www.nsdomesticviolence.ca .