It’s been almost 30 years since the brutal murder of a woman inspired the Annual Downtown Eastside Women’s Memorial March.
One of the organizers says for women, to live in the DTES is to live dangerously.
And according to Myrna Cranmer from the February 14 March Committee, the situation is worse now than it was back then.
Cranmer says in 1997 there were 136 women who had died since they started keeping count. That number is now getting close to 1,000.
“Women continue to die from various things, they’re missing, they’re murdered, and they’re dying from addiction, poverty and just being ignored. They’re being ignored to death.”
She says women are put into SROs and society says “now you’re safe” but she says that’s not the case.
“It’s very scary, you know the women don’t have washrooms, the women don’t have sinks, they’re expected to live in rooms where there are rats, mice, bedbugs, and some really scary guys that they share the same hotel with.”
She says the march is also a ceremony, with stops at each of the places where a woman was last seen. Cranmer says every year brings new faces of friends and families of victims.