Raising awareness about domestic violence

Purple Lights Campaign returns to Hope in October

Heather Garfield (left)

Heather Garfield (left)

Local organizations are teaming up to raise awareness about domestic violence during the annual Purple Lights Campaign in October.

Residents are encouraged to place strings of purple lights around their home in support of victims of domestic violence and to give hope to those living with abuse.

“This event is important because violence in the home (which often involves families) affects everyone whether you are a direct victim or not, and we all have a role to play,” said Marianne Brueckert, program manager of victim services at the Hope community police office. “It is essential that citizens in a community, in this case the community of Hope, are willing to speak up and send a message that domestic violence is not OK. With the willingness and support of those that can speak up we are then better able to help those who cannot do so.”

The Purple Lights Campaign originated in Covington, Wash. in 2007. It began as a small community event to raise awareness about the importance of tackling the issues of domestic violence. It has since grown to include many communities in the United States, Canada and the country of Guam.

According to Statistics Canada, about 99,000 Canadians were victims of family violence in 2010. Of these, almost 50 per cent were committed by their spouse. Domestic violence cases are also the most numerous for Crown Counsel in B.C. In 2008/09, Crown Counsel received 10,224 domestic violence cases, which accounted for 14 per cent of all cases.

The Purple Lights Campaign kicks off at the Hope Library on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. with the annual tree lighting ceremony. There will be representatives from the District of Hope, RCMP, Hope Library, and other community service providers.

Purple light bulbs can be purchased for a minimum $2 donation from Hope Library, Hope RCMP and the District of Hope throughout October while supplies last. Victim services will also be selling purple pins for a minimum $2 donation.

For more information, contact Brueckert at 604-869-7770.