Remembrance and action
Vigil for victims of violence against women to be held Dec. 4
A candlelight vigil is being held in Amherst on Dec. 4 as part of a nationwide effort to end violence against women.
Organized by the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women Committee, the ceremony of remembrance will take place this year at First Baptist Church on Victoria Street from 12:15 to 1 p.m.
This year’s event will feature partnering organizations, groups and agencies placing roses on a tree as a symbol of their commitment to take action to end violence against women, as well as a moment of silence for those women who have experienced abuse.
It is also held in commemoration of the 14 women who lost their lives in the Montreal Massacre on Dec. 6, 1989.
While the rate of domestic violence has dropped along with other crime statistics during the past 26 years, the problem still exists, according to Heidi Simpson, a committee member and a women’s support counsellor at Autumn House.
“I think it’s important to keep this event going because abuse against women is something that’s still present within our communities here,” she said.
“It’s important to get that awareness out so hopefully one day we won’t have to continue this event, and the abuse will stop.”
A brown bag lunch will be provided at the event. There will be no admission fee, although donations will be accepted.
The event also coincides with the Purple Ribbon campaign, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, which raises funds for organizations providing services to abused women and raises awareness of the far-reaching effects of violence against women. The Purple Ribbon boxes will be present at Autumn House events this year, according to Simpson, who said the more awareness that gets out there, the better.
“It’s something people are having conversations about now, where previously it was not discussed as much,” she said. “Awareness is getting out there. Now it’s just about continuing it.”
Heidi Simpson, a women’s support counsellor at Autumn House, is one of the committee members planning a ceremony of remembrance to raise awareness of violence against women. A candlelight vigil will be held at First Baptist Church on Dec. 4 from 12:15 to 1 p.m.