The 7th annual Shine The Light on Woman Abuse wrapped up this past weekend and organizers say the campaign with London origins has hit the national stage.
Members of several London organizations attended a campaign appreciation cocktail party at Goodwill Industries Friday night. Megan Walker, Executive Director of the London Abused Women’s Centre, spoke at the event and said the campaign has reached those affected by violence women across Canada.
“We’ve had pictures sent to us from all over Canada from municipalities that have shone the light purple for us, we’ve had inquiries from all over and we’ve had women call us from throughout Canada asking where they can get help for the abuse they’re suffering,” Walker told AM980.
“I honestly think this is now a national campaign, it doesn’t belong to the London Abused Women’s Centre it belongs to this country, and I think that is significant,” Walker said.
The 2016 campaign was highlighted by support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the lighting of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on “Wear Purple Day,” November 15th.
“So the takeaway for me is that communities from coast to coast to coast can come together and speak with one voice and take action to end men’s violence against women, and I’ve seen the beginning of that now and so what I look forward to is seeing it through to next year to see how far we’ve gone.”
Shine The Light encourages people to light up public spaces in purple light to draw attention to the issue of woman abuse and raise awareness of community services that seek to help.
2016’s campaign kicked off November 1st with a tree lightning ceremony in Victoria Park. Other events included a ball hockey tournament, a chalk walk hosted by Fanshawe College, “Wear Purple Day,” and a “Purple Night on the Town.”
This year’s campaign honoured Paula Gallant, who was murdered by her husband in 2005, and Mary Meadows, a survivor who was able to leave her abuser thanks to help from LAWC.
Meadows spoke at the event to share her story and drive home the point that women are not alone and help is available.
“When I think about my years with my abuser it’s as if I’m remembering someone else’s life because I am so blessed now I am so grateful for what I have now as opposed to what I went through then.”
Last year, more than 25 buildings and locations in London were lit up in purple for the month of November, and more than 20 communities in the province took part in the campaign.
For more information on Shine the Light, click here.