An open letter from the Collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter
We want to send our condolences to the friends and family of the dead women in Pennsylvania. We send our best wishes to the wounded. Women live with so many normalized threats to our lives that we hardly notice how much we do to avoid sexist violence. What a brutal reawakening that there is no safe place for women.
The numbers of women killed by men continue to rise mostly one at a time but they are not isolated. This year is the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre and feminists said then as we repeat now "The Motive is Misogyny". This "lone gunman" shares a fear and hatred of women with the men who beat their wives, rape, harass and prostitute women and children. Although he
did not target women as feminists, as was the case with the Montreal Massacre, George Sodini was determined to send a message to all women. But we refuse to listen and we refuse to obey.
The day after the Montreal Massacre on behalf of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers, the collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter sent a message to the women in Montreal. It is a no coincidence that the same words apply in this Pennsylvania Femicide.
"We will not excuse his acts when we know of the sadness and failure of his life. We will not blame his mother or lover or the women who refused to be his lovers. We will not blame the women he names in his letter from the dead. We will not blame the feminists who fought for women's liberties.
We hold responsible the men who taught him to expect women to fill his every need. We hold responsible the men who failed to teach him to live with moments of disappointment and anger without reprisals."
From our rape crisis line and transition house for battered women and their children in Vancouver, Canada, we brave on. We find reassurance in the other feminists struggling for equality and freedom everywhere in the world. We have to continue to stand together and we must continue.
On behalf of the Collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter
Member center of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers
5 years ago