The family of Trina Hunt is hoping the community will come out to support them in their aim to bring awareness to the issue of gender-based violence, a global concern that has sparked 16 days of activism.
On Sunday, Nov. 28, the family will hold a vigil marking 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody.
This is the first event family members have held that doesn’t focus specifically on Hunt, whose homicide earlier this year remains unsolved.
But a family spokesperson said Hunt will be very much on their minds and on many who attend the afternoon event, which will feature speakers and testimony from others who’ve faced gender-based violence.
"Some days we have hope, some days we have no hope. It does help to connect with others," said Jennifer Ibbott, Hunt’s sister-in-law.
Hunt was reported missing from Port Moody on Jan. 18, sparking a massive community search.
Her disappearance was reported by her husband, who told police he came home to find she was gone.
Her remains were found near Hope in late March, and publicly confirmed May 1.
No further information has been revealed by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), although the family is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to a charge in the case.
Ibbott said the family is struggling with trauma, and seeks an arrest and charges.
"I don’t know how we can ever just rest without knowing — until IHIT has come to some closure," Ibbott said.
However, raising awareness about gender-based violence has become an important touchstone for the family, a way to connect with others and to share information about this topic which is not often discussed publicly.
"We feel driven to do something," said Ibbott, who told the Tri-City News she was astonished to learn that 67 per cent of Canadians know a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse (via canadianwomen.org).
"With this event, what we hope to do is create awareness, start conversations, and just let it be known this is a big problem in our society and we need to bring more awareness," Ibbott said.
There will be speakers from the Battered Women’s Support Services and a forensic psychologist. People are encouraged to bring candles to the event slated for 3:15 p.m. at the park stage.
The vigil coincides with 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, an international campaign that kicks off on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
According to the website, it was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.
It is used as an organizing strategy to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.