A presentation on the ripple effect of domestic violence was brought to council during a recent meeting. Getting an early start on their on their Purple Light Nights Campaign, which seeks to inform, empower and acknowledge victim’s of violence, Marianne Brueckert, program manager of victim services at the RCMP, enlightened council on the benefits of bringing awareness to the community.
“We have been involved in doing this Purple Lights Campaign, which is really an awareness raising campaign on the issue of domestic violence. It started in the States — Paddington Washington is where it first began, but it’s been incorporated into many communities in Canada, including Hope and Chilliwack — we have been doing it for the past six years in Hope,” said Brueckert.
The campaign is primarily focused on awareness raising in the community. It’s about educating people about the issues of domestic violence, and the repercussions associated with it.
“We want to show how bad it affects the individual who’s been injured in some way and how it impacts the families, the community itself and the business sector,” said Brueckert.“It has a ripple effect throughout the community and we really wanted to bring it out of the closet.”
Last year the purple lights campaign was successful in a tree lighting ceremony at memorial park in partnership with the District of Hope, who helped facilitate the lighting of the tree in the park with purple lights, which involved the assistance of staff members.
“We got the community on side in terms of donations, which allowed us to light that tree with bulbs. And, generally, we saw a real increase in interest at the community level, so our hope this year is to really focus on that, while engaging the schools as well,” she said.
The presentation was given to inform council of the trajectory for the upcoming October lighting ceremony and to seek supports where appropriate to ensure the fruition of the social activism project.
“We wanted to let you know that we are on track and we’ve just started meetings, so we’re trying to build the membership of our committee and look at hopefully not only doing the tree lighting again with the ceremony in the park, as well as acknowledging those who have been impacted by violence and those who have lost their lives.”
The community has felt the impact of violence, according to Brueckert who suggested banning together collectively to fight for justice, reparation and to protest this type of tragedy.
“We have found that there is a lot of support out there in terms of asking the businesses, so we’re keen on trying to get community engagement on board and have different service providers and different agencies come up with all of those ideas, it’s really a community initiative.”