Men hold demonstration in Montreal to denounce domestic violence, show solidarity with women

·2 min read
The seven women who died were honoured at the event and their names were displayed to raise awareness about the effect of domestic violence. (CBC - image credit)
The seven women who died were honoured at the event and their names were displayed to raise awareness about the effect of domestic violence. (CBC - image credit)

On Saturday afternoon, a group of about 100 men attended a demonstration outside Angrignon Metro station to denounce violence against women.

In the last seven weeks, seven women have been killed in Quebec. In most of the deaths, which occurred between Feb 5. and March 23, a partner or ex-partner is suspected.

In the two most recent cases, Nadège Jolicoeur, 40, was found dead next to her partner in the front of a taxi cab in Montreal's east end, and investigators concluded that she was killed by her spouse before he took his own life.

Rebekah Harry, 29, died while in hospital after being attacked inside an apartment. Her boyfriend has been charged with second-degree murder.

The event served as both a demonstration in solidarity and a vigil for the women who have died.

Danny Moise felt compelled to attend the demonstration because he has three daughters at home.
Danny Moise felt compelled to attend the demonstration because he has three daughters at home.(CBC)

For Danny Moise, one man who attended the event, he couldn't help but think of his own family when reading the headlines.

"I have three daughters. For me to think I have to go through that as a father is unacceptable, not something I ever want to go through," he said.

Moise said men need to break the taboo and start having conversations about intimate partner violence.

"I can have conversations in a locker room where women don't have access, or in a chatroom that is just men. I can have conversations with boys when I coach basketball and we need to have these conversations," he said.

Guedwig Bernier said men need to speak up about the issue of violence against women and denounce these kinds of incidents loudly.
Guedwig Bernier said men need to speak up about the issue of violence against women and denounce these kinds of incidents loudly.(CBC)

Guedwig Bernier, another man in attendance, echoed this sentiment, saying that "it's time for us as men [to] show that this is something that is very important."

"We have to be loud about this and not just say 'it's not my problem'."

Bernier added that this also means supporting women in his circle who may be experiencing abuse.

"We have to keep our eyes open and step up if we see or hear something from our group of friends or family members."

If you're in immediate danger, call 911. If you need help, SOS violence conjugale is a province-wide toll-free crisis line, available 24/7.

You can reach them at 1-800-363-9010 by phone, or via text at 438-601-1211 You can also look for information on SOS's new website.