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White ribbon campaign inspired by Montreal Massacre

For 45 minutes on Dec. 6, 1989 an enraged gunman roamed the corridors of Montreal's École Polytechnique and killed 14 women. Marc Lepine, 25, separated the men from the women and before opening fire on the classroom of female engineering students he screamed, "I hate feminists." Almost immediately, the Montreal Massacre became a galvanizing moment in which mourning turned into outrage about all violence against women.

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In 1991 a group of men starts the White Ribbon Campaign as a symbol of men's opposition to male violence against women. Recently, a troubling study found that men assaulted one in seven women, but only one in 250 cases were reported. The campaign's impetus comes from these statistics and the Montreal Massacre. In this CBC Television report, an organizer explains the ribbons symbolize "the idea of men giving up their arms."
• The campaign encourages men and boys to wear a white ribbon from Nov. 25, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, until Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action of Violence Against Women on Dec. 6.

• From 1997 to 2001, 66 Ontario women died in domestic violence incidents.

• Some White Ribbon groups have discussions on Father's Day about the importance of men being caregivers.

• In 1998 the campaign began an annual benefit concert. At the 2002 concert, members of The Tea Party, Barenaked Ladies and Big Wreck performed, raising $30,000 for the cause.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC at Six
Broadcast Date: Nov. 27, 1991
Guest: Jan Richardson
Reporter: Jane Antoniak
Duration: 1:36

Last updated: November 26, 2014

Page consulted on November 26, 2014

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