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Comox Valley Purple Ribbon campaign raising awareness about domestic violence
Peace begins at home.
It's a message that community leaders from across the Comox Valley hope will be embraced in the next month during the inaugural Comox Valley Purple Ribbon Campaign, which urges residents to take a stand against domestic violence.
The City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, CFB Comox, North Island College, K’ómoks First Nation, the Comox Valley Regional District, the RCMP and the Comox Valley Transition Society are kicking off the Purple Ribbon Campaign Tuesday morning.
People are invited for early-morning muffins and coffee from 7 to 8:15 a.m. in the Rotary Hall of the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.
There will be a short film called Breaking Our Silence: Gloucester Men Speak Out Against Domestic Violence and speeches from community leaders, including Courtenay Mayor Greg Phelps and Insp. Tom Gray of the Comox Valley RCMP.
“Comox Valley RCMP dealt with nearly 600 cases of domestic violence last year," noted Phelps. "Domestic violence is not acceptable. Join the Purple Ribbon Campaign and take a stand — be part of the solution.”
People will be able to get purple ribbons throughout the community to raise awareness of the campaign, the theme of which is "peace begins at home."
"We encourage people to don a ribbon through the campaign and show their support for the prevention of violence in families," said Heather Ney, executive director of the Comox Valley Transition Society. "We encourage open dialogue, and we need to teach our youth that violence is not acceptable."
Valley residents are being encouraged to wear a purple ribbon during National Victims of Crime Awareness Week April 10 to 16, Prevention of Violence Against Women Week April 17 to 23 and B.C. Victims of Crime Awareness Week April 24 to 30.
The local campaign was inspired by Prince Edward Island's purple ribbon campaign.
"I think the real goal of the campaign is to increase awareness and encourage people to take a stand, whatever that means for people — gently asking if you think someone is being abused, supporting organizations financially or boycotting," said Ney.
To learn about the problem of domestic violence or available resources, visit the Transition Society's website at www.cvts.ca.