Deagan Reimer was a student at Brock University in 1989, when she heard the names of the 14 young women murdered at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.
“Everyone was asking if I knew anybody.”
She did know someone.
Geneviève Bergeron, one of the 14 victims killed on Dec. 6, was a classmate of Reimer’s at Ecole FACE in Montreal.
“We were in choir together, band together, classes,” said Reimer. “We all hung out together,” she said of the graduating class of less than 50 students.
Dec. 6 marks 25 years since 14 young women were murdered while they attended school.
The massacre caused Parliament to name Dec. 6 as a National Day of Action on Violence Against Women. A day for Canadians to reflect on violence against women in our society, and to consider women for whom violence is part of their daily reality at home, work or school, or in social environments.
“It’s a shock that it happened to anybody,” said Reimer over the phone, “but simply because they were women.”
Reimer said she tried not to let the events of Dec. 6 impact how she raised her three children. It’s hard when she considers the circumstances surrounding the shootings.
“It’s not like you can do anything to be more safe,” said Reimer. “You’re in school doing what you want to do.”
Violence against women has been at the forefront of the news lately with missing and murdered aboriginal women, and victims of violence at the hands of high-profile personalities.
Reimer doesn’t think violence against women will be fully eradicated in this generation. “Simply creating policy to correct it will not provide a solution,” she said.
Reimer will be attending services at The First Metropolitan Church on Saturday (Dec. 6) at 1 p.m. The service will have representatives from different faiths, countries and backgrounds. Dianne de Champlain, community educator and volunteer program coordinator at Victoria Women’s Transition House, will be the key speaker.
“Violence is not a solution,” said Reimer. “It is not OK to blame the victim or attack someone because of who they are.”