Story about Doreen's talk at John Abbott College from The Chronicle.
By MARC LALONDE
Violence against women can and must be overcome if society is to
have hope for the future, said the West Island co-ordinator of the
Murdered and Missing Persons' Families Association — a women who
knows all too well the horrors conjugal violence can bring to a
Doreen Haddad Drummond, whose daughter Kelly-Anne was allegedly
murdered by her live-in boyfriend Martin Morin-Cousineau in Oct.
2004, will be the keynote speaker at an International Women's Day
celebration to be held March 7 at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne
"Every year we come up with a different theme for the celebration of
International Women's Day and this year it's violence against women
and what we can do to stop it," said John Abbott College Women's
Studies and Gender Relations co-ordinator Vivianne Silver. "We're
trying to send a message of hope and we're seeking to educate and
sensitize the community to the damage conjugal violence can cause."
Silver said there are no easy answers to predicting conjugal
violence — "That's a great question," — but it starts with making
men and women equal partners in relationships, she said. "We realize
that nobody's going anywhere without good men by our side, and my
whole approach is not to disregard men, but rather to foster an
approach to relationships where we really walk hand in hand."
Doreen Haddad Drummond said her keynote address will focus on
retaining hope and surviving, even in the face of horrific violence.
"Everyone gets through in a different way. I got through it knowing
I had wonderful family and friends who were there for me and there's
been a lot of support. I have an incredible employer who is trying
to understand what I'm going through and helps me to keep my mind
occupied when I'm at work, but there's always small things that
happen and remind you, and all of a sudden I'll be sitting there
missing Kelly-Anne something terrible.
"Some women aren't as lucky as I am and they can't even get out of
bed. However, I think Kelly-Anne's legacy was to live, laugh and
become adventurous. I have to believe that she didn't die in vain
and I have to believe I can help others with Kelly-Anne's story.
Conjugal violence is always something that stays silent, and since
Kelly-Anne's death, I've been able to reach three women who were in
abusive relationships. Hopefully, someone else will be able to live
because of Kelly-Anne's death," she said.
The International Women's Day celebrations at John Abbott College,
organized by the Women's Studies and Gender Relations department
will kick off March 7 at 2 p.m. in The Agora, located in the
Casgrain building. The celebration will be led off by JAC grad and
professional composer and singer Pamela Lamb and Drummond's keynote
address will follow. For more information, call 457-6610.