News release

Flag Recognizes Violence Against Women

The Nova Scotia flag at Province House will fly at half-mast today through Sunday in remembrance of all Canadian women who have been victims of violence.

At the flag-lowering this morning, Premier Russell MacLellan renewed the Nova Scotia government's "deep commitment to end the violence that is part of so many women's lives and that takes so many women's lives."

Francene Cosman, Minister responsible for Status of Women, read a joint declaration of the federal/provincial/territorial status of women ministers on violence against women in which the ministers reaffirmed the "top priority" each of their governments has given to ending violence against women.

"Living free of violence is a right, not a privilege," said Ms. Cosman.

Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, called for an increased effort in eliminating violence against women. "We've got to work harder to eradicate violence against women and girls in our workplaces, on our streets, in our schools and, importantly, in our homes."

Dec. 6 was declared an annual national day of remembrance and action on violence against women after 14 women were gunned down at the engineering school of the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989.

Premier MacLellan pointed to the strides Nova Scotia has made in the past year through the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Family Violence Prevention Initiative and the Department of Justice. These include:

  • a series of young women's forums which, in part, focused on violence to enlighten young women and heighten their awareness about violence against women
  • the publication of the newly revised Making Changes: A Book for Women in Abusive Relationships
  • eight projects to enhance victim assistance to support the government's pro-charge, pro-prosecution policy
  • a pilot project with Bryony House to provide free cell phones to victims of stalking and relationship violence

Robert Chisholm, leader of the Opposition, and John Hamm, leader of the Progressive Conservative party, also made formal remarks to the group gathered for the ceremony.

Since 1989, 55 Nova Scotia women have died violently, five in the last year alone.

-30-

Contact:

Chris Hansen
Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women 902-424-4190 E-mail:
ngr                  Dec. 3, 1998                  8:58 a.m.