Red Deerians encouraged to shine purple lights

Initiative to recognize Family Violence Awareness Month

  • Nov. 2, 2016 3:44 p.m.

As November marks Family Violence Prevention Month, two local organizations are banning together to bring awareness to the cause.

The first Purple Light Nights campaign will run through to the end of the month. The project is a joint effort between Soroptimist International of Central Alberta and the Domestic & Relationship Violence Initiative Committee.

The two organizations are asking Central Albertans to purchase a purple light bulb and let the light shine on their porches, at their businesses or offices, or in trees and shrubs in their yards, to remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence, support survivors and bring hope to those still abused.

“It is nice to show support and it is something that is easy to do,” said Sherri Smith, a member of Soroptimist International of Central Alberta.

The initiative was started by a woman in Washington who encouraged people to shine a purple light to bring awareness to family violence issues.

According to the Alberta Government web site, “Family Violence Prevention Month started in 1986 as a local initiative in the town of Hinton, Alberta where concerned residents launched a family violence education and prevention campaign. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Family Violence Prevention Month.”

According to Statistics Canada, “In 2014, 26% of all victims of police-reported violent crime were victimized by a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, or another immediate or extended family member.

“This represents more than 85,000 victims of family violence.” As well, “Most victims of police-reported family violence were victims of physical assault (73%). Among these victims, four out of five were victims of common assault (80%). Combined, uttering threats (11%) and sexual offences (8%) were experienced by nearly one in five victims of police-reported family violence in 2014.

“In 2014, sexual offences (10%) and criminal harassment (5%) were more than twice as common among female victims of police-reported family violence as male victims (4% and 2%, respectively). Major physical assault was more common among male victims of police-reported family violence than female victims.”

Meanwhile, as for the Purple Light Nights initiative, light bulbs are available for purchase at a number of places around the City and are $2 for a 60W bulb, or $3 for a 75W bulb.

Check out ‘Central Alberta Purple Light Nights’ on facebook for a list of locations to purchase.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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