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Purple ribbons reinforce message
"Peace begins at home" is the theme for this year's campaign against gender violence and workers at the Tri-City Transitions Society hope people will take this message to heart.
Despite continued efforts of government and social service agencies to raise awareness, domestic violence has not declined and victims of domestic violence don't always report incidents to police.
That's why Tri-City Transitions is asking people to wear a purple ribbon from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10. The Port Coquitlam-based agency is also looking for businesses willing to post its phone number in their women's washrooms.
"Women who come to us say they don't want to go to the police," explained executive director Carol Metz-Murray. The reasons are many, she said, including fear for their safety, mistrust because of past experiences and lack of knowledge about the Canadian legal system.
Tri-City Transitions has a variety of services available, including helping victims of domestic violence navigate the legal system. By posting the phone number in washrooms, Metz-Murray hopes more people will come to the organization for help.
"They might call themselves or give the phone number to a friend," she said.
According to Statistics Canada, spousal violence rates did not decline between 2004 and 2009, and victims of domestic violence today are less likely to report an incident to the police than they were in 2004. Yet in the In the period between 2000 and 2009, there were nearly 738 spousal homicides, and women were the most likely victim.
Purple ribbons are being distributed by Tri-City Transitions (www.tricitytransitions.com) to mark the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, the theme of which is “From peace in the home to peace in the world; let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women.”
In addition to raising awareness about the continuing problem of violence against women, the campaign also commemorates the 1989 murders of 14 young women at École Polytechnique de Montréal.
For those needing resources — both women and men — Tri-City Transitions offers a variety of services and can be reached at 604 941-7111.