Vi­o­lence against women af­fects whole com­mu­nity

Mur­der of Traci Lynch shines spotlight once more on dark side of hu­man na­ture

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL - Kelly Robin­son, act­ing chair­per­son, P.E.I. Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women

Coun­cil mem­bers and staff of the P.E.I. Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women are deeply shaken by the mur­der of Traci Lynch.

All of us of­fer our sym­pa­thies to her fam­ily, es­pe­cially her young son Owen, and to her friends, her neigh­bours, and the fam­i­lies of the chil­dren she cared for. Our hearts and our thoughts are with you.

No life should end in vi­o­lence. And yet, Traci Lynch is the tenth Prince Ed­ward Is­land woman since 1989 to be mur­dered by a man who knew her.

Over that same time, hun­dreds of women have been harmed or made to fear for their lives.

Abuse, in­jury, trauma, and con­stant fear have hor­rific ef­fects on in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, and whole com­mu­ni­ties.

It is at mo­ments of cri­sis, such as the days fol­low­ing a mur­der, that we re­al­ize how closely in­ter­con­nected we all are and how vi­o­lence af­fects ev­ery­one in a so­ci­ety. Mo­ments like this re­mind us that we are all re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing a cul­ture where vi­o­lence is un­ac­cept­able in our words, in our ac­tions, and in our re­la­tion­ships.

Each year for 25 years, the P.E.I. Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women has co­or­di­nated the province-wide Pur­ple Rib­bon Cam­paign against vi­o­lence against women.

The pur­ple rib­bon has be­come an im­por­tant sym­bol of the work to end vi­o­lence and to ad­dress male vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren that is rooted in power, con­trol, and gen­der in­equal­ity.

To­day, more than one Is­land woman is hear­ing the news of Traci Lynch’s mur­der and liv­ing with the knowl­edge, “That could have been me.” To you, we send love and sup­port and a re­minder that there is help avail­able.

Women and men who ex­pe­ri­ence abuse or vi­o­lence can con­tact Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices any­where in P.E.I. and talk to knowl­edge­able and com­pas­sion­ate out­reach work­ers.

The staff will work with you to find safety and to feel em­pow­ered and val­ued.

To speak to some­one con­fi­den­tially for in­for­ma­tion, sup­port, or emer­gency shel­ter, con­tact P.E.I. Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices: 902-892-0960 (lo­cal) or 1-800240-9894 (toll free).

Fam­ily, friends, and neigh­bours who are con­cerned for the health and safety of some­one they know can also ask P.E.I. Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices for in­for­ma­tion and sup­port.

All of us need to know the warn­ing signs of fam­ily vi­o­lence and to learn what we can do to help pre­vent abuse and, pos­si­bly, to pre­vent loss of life.

We can hon­our Traci Lynch and miss­ing and mur­dered women across Canada by tak­ing ac­tion in our ev­ery­day lives to ad­dress and end vi­o­lence.

If you know some­one in a dan­ger­ous re­la­tion­ship, talk to her pri­vately, in a safe set­ting. Let her know you are a safe per­son to talk to, that you will con­tinue to be sup­port­ive, and that you will help her to ac­cess fam­ily vi­o­lence preven­tion sup­ports and ser­vices if and when she is ready. You could save a life.

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