Campaign works to end violence against women

Purple ribbons will be available at more than 60 local businesses during the annual Purple Ribbon Campaign taking place Dec. 1 to 10.

Purple ribbons will be available at more than 60 local businesses during the annual Purple Ribbon Campaign taking place in the lakecity Dec. 1 to 10.

“This is an opportunity for women, as well as men to remember and acknowledge violence against women and speak out against violence,” says Irene Willsie, Women’s Contact Society executive director in encouraging people to pick up and wear a purple ribbon to show their support.

She notes that Sunday, Dec. 6 is also recognized nationally as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The World Health Organization reports that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence during their lifetime, Willsie says.

And according to Statistics Canada, 2013; women between 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing violence by an intimate partner: 1,128 incidents per 100,000 population.

Statistics Canada reports that a growing number of spousal violence victims are not reporting these incidents to police.

In 2009 only 22 per cent of respondents got the police involved, down from 28 per cent in 2004.

“Why does Williams Lake need to take action?” Willsie questions.

“On average the Williams Lake RCMP receives 20 reports of assault per month: 88 per cent of those assaults are perpetrated by males and 31 per cent of the victims are female.”

She says people can work to raise awareness and stop the violence by taking the following actions.

• Listen to women and believe them and ask them how you can help.

• Make violence your business; don’t look away.

• Raise non-violent children.

• Encourage people who commit violence to get help.

• Speak up, it’s not a private matter, it’s a crime!

“Don’t be a bystander,” Willsie says. “Wear a purple ribbon and tell everyone why! Say no to violence against women.”

For more information please contact Irene Willsie, Women’s Contact Society

P.O. Box 4094, 51A South Fourth Avenue, Williams Lake, BC V2G 2V2 – Telephone: 250-392-4118