The Golden Women’s Centre held a BBQ last Thursday to bring attention to Prevention of Violence Against Women Week. The BBQ was part of The Clothesline Project, a project created in 1990 that gave women the chance to share their experiences or those of people they care about in order to educate and raise awareness of the cause.
“It’s a reminder that it happens here, it could be your friends, your sister. It’s a silent crime,” says Linley McLean, Women’s Centre Co-ordinator.
Many times, those making shirts are sharing their own story or telling the story of someone who was killed due to the violence they were forced to endure.
One in four women in Canada experience abuse and Golden is no exception. According to Roni Beauregard, safe home co-ordinator, last year had more than 750 bed nights.
A safe home is a place that women and children can go for a period of time while escaping violence. Typically, those who go to safe homes continue to struggle with finding affordable housing and escaping violence.
“Just because she left, doesn’t mean she has completely escaped abuse, especially if there are children involved,” Beauregard explains, “poverty and personal safety is a big challenge.”
Beauregard says that she often receives calls from friends or family of those being abused asking for advice on the subject.
“I have received calls from teenagers and they sometimes talk about suicide.”
Beauregard says that she welcomes anyone to call her with any questions or if they are being abused themselves.
“If you are experiencing or know someone who is experiencing violence, don’t hesitate to call. I’m not there to make a decision for you, but I am there to help you and talk to you if that’s what you need. The one thing I will encourage is that people monitor their personal safety.”
If you, or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 250-344-2101. People can call 24 hours a day seven days a week with any questions or if they are seeking a safe house.
If you would like to see more statistics on violence against women in Canada, visit www.endingviolence.org.