Barb’s Bench com­ing to Pic­tou County

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY -

Since 1990, more than 80 Nova Sco­tia women have lost their lives due to vi­o­lence.

For 52 women, their deaths came at the hands of their in­ti­mate part­ners, for­ever si­lenc­ing their voices. The Pic­tou County Chap­ter of Silent Wit­ness Nova Sco­tia (SWNSPC) be­lieves it is time to end their si­lence.

The chap­ter is made up of a group of in­di­vid­u­als work­ing to­gether to raise the voices of women who have lost their lives at the hands of their in­ti­mate part­ners. Through com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and sup­port, the Pic­tou County Chap­ter is cre­at­ing free­stand­ing, life-size, red wooden sil­hou­ettes, each one bear­ing the name of a Pic­tou County woman whose life ended vi­o­lently as a re­sult of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

The Pic­tou County chap­ter of the SWNS will host a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony as well as the an­nual Walk to Re­mem­ber on Oct 21st (rain date Oct. 22nd).

The Pic­tou County chap­ter is also work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nova Sco­tia Ad­vi­sory

Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women to bring Barb’s Bench pro­gram to the county. Barb’s Bench is a pro­gram cre­ated in mem­ory of Bar­bara Bail­lie, a woman whose life ended in vi­o­lence on Oct. 19th, 1990. Her chil­dren placed the ini­tial pur­ple bench in her mem­ory.

Barb’s Bench com­mem­o­rates all women who have been si­lenced by vi­o­lence. The benches are placed for all to cel­e­brate the lives of these women; raise aware­ness of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence; and en­cour­age oth­ers at risk, and those who love them, to reach out and seek as­sis­tance.

The idea of Barb’s Bench was ex­panded with the help of Silent Wit­ness Nova Sco­tia and the NS Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on the Sta­tus of Women.

These or­ga­ni­za­tions have com­mit­ted to place three benches through­out the prov­ince – a num­ber that in­cludes the bench be­ing placed in Pic­tou County. This bench will hon­our all women who have lost their lives to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

The Pic­tou County chap­ter of SWNS does not have source fund­ing, and re­lies solely upon do­na­tions – which is why the Walk to Re­mem­ber is an im­por­tant fundraiser for them.

Any­one can join the walk by sign­ing up as an in­di­vid­ual or as a team.

On­line reg­is­tra­tion and do­na­tions can be sent to https://www. canada­helps.org/en/char­i­ties/ the-so­ci­ety-for-silent-wit­ness­nova-sco­tia/bench2017/.

The bench ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony will be held at 1 p.m. at Glas­gow Square Theatre fol­lowed by the Walk to Re­mem­ber. The walk will be­gin at the Glas­gow Square Gazebo, pro­ceed across the Ge­orge St. Bridge and end at the Kins­men Lookoff, Ter­race Street, New Glas­gow.

The trail will be lined with red sil­hou­ettes as a re­minder of those women who have lost their lives to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. Par­tic­i­pants can join the walk any­time be­tween 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Glas­gow Square Gazebo.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.face­book.com/silen­twit­nesspc, or to learn more about Silent Wit­ness Nova Sco­tia’s pro­grams, visit the coali­tion’s web­site at www.silen­twit­ness­no­vas­co­tia.ca.

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