The names of victims of violence against women were read aloud Wednesday in London's core as dozens gathered around two granite sculptures etched with women's faces.
On the anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre, people held candles at Victoria Park in honour of 14 women who were shot and killed 28 years ago at the school in Montreal.
"We need to believe women. We need to believe all survivors." - Julie McDonald
For many, including Julie McDonald, a member of London's Women's Event's Committee, the gathering is a stark reminder that more work needs to be done when addressing issues related to violence.
"We need to believe women. We need to believe all survivors," she said. "We need to name the violence. We need to be more supportive of each other."
Organizers also read out the names of more than 30 women murdered in Ontario — including 26-year-old Josie Glenn, who was found dead in a Summerside home in southeast London in October.
'Name the violence'
Recently, online campaigns such as the #MeToo movement have made waves across social media — pulling back the curtain on issues related to violence.
"I think that a lot of women are feeling empowered right now and using social media as their voice," said McDonald, who added that cyber bullying is still a problem.
Who #ldnont is honouring today:— @Hala_Ghonaim
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz pic.twitter.com/F3GtlrcVbP
Anti-violence activist Deana Ruston said social media has played a big role in connecting women and creating an online support system.
"It's brought together a lot of solidarity, and women and girls around the world will share their stories and experiences with one another, and even if one doesn't feel comfortable sharing, they know that they too are being heard."
Several big names have also been put on the hot seat for allegations related to sexual abuse and violence. Debra Woodhall, who attended the vigil, said blasting perpetrators has shown people the gross consequences of violent actions.
"It's been an issue for years and years and years, and the men have not faced consequences until now. I think it may give them pause to think about what they're saying and what they're doing in the work place because it could be them being called out on the carpet," she said.
Last month, about 100 people marched from London police headquarters to a women's shelter to call attention to violence against women and demand change.