Re­mem­brance and ac­tion

Vigil for vic­tims of violence against women to be held Dec. 4

The Amherst News - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW WAGSTAFF awagstaff@tc.tc Twit­ter: @ADNan­drew

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.”

AN­DREW WAGSTAFF – AMHERST NEWS

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.

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