Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence grow­ing cam­paign com­bat­ing vi­o­lence against women

Moose Jaw - - News -

Saskatchewan has the high­est in­stances of vi­o­lence against women in the coun­try.

Vi­o­lence against women isn’t go­ing away, so the mem­bers of Moose Jaw’s Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence are in­creas­ing their ef­forts to raise aware­ness dur­ing this year’s White Rib­bon Cam­paign.

“As Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence, we’re work­ing to­gether to not only make the cam­paign hap­pen again, but in­crease the pres­ence of the cam­paign and take it to a higher level, where it should be,” said Sgt. Kevin Pilsworth from the Moose Jaw Po­lice Ser­vice.

The White Rib­bon Cam­paign is a global ini­tia­tive to end male vi­o­lence against women. It be­gan in the wake of the École Polytech­nique mas­sacre in Mon­treal on Dec. 6, 1989, that saw 14 fe­male stu­dents shot and killed be­cause of their gen­der. The White Rib­bon Cam­paign is now ac­tive in more than 60 coun­tries and seeks to pro­mote healthy re­la­tion­ships, gen­der eq­uity and a com­pas­sion­ate vi­sion of mas­culin­ity. The ‘white rib­bon’ is meant to sym­bol­ize “the idea of men giv­ing up their arms.”

“Vi­o­lence is not OK with any­one and it is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity, but re­ally, the White Rib­bon Cam­paign is try­ing to shift it a lit­tle bit and say yes it is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity, but for this mo­ment in time we want to ac­knowl­edge the fact that his­tor­i­cally men have been over-rep­re­sented in vi­o­lence against women. As a re­sult, it should be men that are bring­ing aware­ness of that and bring­ing it to the fore­front. It should be men of all ages who are the cham­pi­ons of the White Rib­bon Cam­paign,” Pilsworth said.

The Moose Jaw Po­lice Ser­vice is one of sev­eral lo­cal agen­cies that are part of Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence. They hold events through­out the year and will be work­ing to­gether to raise aware­ness lead­ing up to Na­tional Day of Re­mem­brance on Dec. 6.

“The Po­lice Ser­vice is su­per-priv­i­leged to be a part of that group. We try to share the re­spon­si­bil­ity with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent agen­cies and folks around the ta­ble,” Pilsworth said. “The Po­lice Ser­vice cer­tainly sees the front line of that vi­o­lence on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, so it cer­tainly makes sense that it’s some­thing that we want to be a big part of.

“That’s one of the rea­sons we’re try­ing to be one of the lead­ers on the com­mit­tee for Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence. I cer­tainly want to give a lot of credit to Moose Jaw Tran­si­tion House. They’ve re­ally steered the ship for the part num­ber of years. Their ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lori Lan­caster has re­ally been the main driver for the past four or five years for the White Rib­bon Cam­paign.” Mayor Fraser Tolmie signed a procla­ma­tion to kick-off the White Rib­bon Cam­paign on Nov. 15. Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence will be at the Nov. 23 Moose Jaw War­riors home game to fur­ther raise aware­ness. “We’re thrilled to also have the sup­port of the Moose Jaw War­riors,” Pilsworth said. “Part­ners Against Vi­o­lence will be present at the game, hand­ing out rib­bons and but­tons and some in­for­ma­tion sur­round­ing the White Rib­bon cam­paign, as well as mak­ing peo­ple aware of the Dec. 6 event.”

The week will con­clude on the Na­tional Day of Re­mem­brance on Dec. 6 with a lun­cheon from noon un­til 2 p.m. at Minto United Church.

Lani Elliot, a sur­vivor of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence from Regina, will be the keynote speaker.

“We’re ex­cited to have her come in as a speaker,” Pilsworth said. “She has quite an in­ter­est­ing story.”

The event is open to the pub­lic and Char­lotte’s will be pro­vid­ing a catered meal for $15.

“Our mem­bers and our staff here are fully be­hind this ini­tia­tive,” Pilsworth said of the MJPS. “You will see our Chief and our mem­bers and staff wear­ing the white rib­bon, as well as the red but­ton that has the ‘Dec. 6 take ac­tion on vi­o­lence against women’ motto on it. Sev­eral of our mem­bers will also be tak­ing part in the lace-up cam­paign that is tied to the White Rib­bon cam­paign. “We’re step­ping up our in­volve­ment and we’re try­ing to take this ini­tia­tive to a higher level where we think it be­longs. Vi­o­lence needs to end. We’re try­ing to do our best, but there is def­i­nitely room for im­prove­ment and so that’s what we’re try­ing to do.”

Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie signed a procla­ma­tion on Mon­day to kick-off the start of the White Rib­bon Cam­paign, pro­claim­ing Nov. 25 to Dec. 6 as White Rib­bon Cam­paign week.

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