By GWYDION MORRIS
Feb. 13, 2014
Ten red silhouettes stood in front of Province House Feb. 12.
They represented the women who had been killed on P.E.I. due to domestic violence. Red was chosen to represent the blood that had been spilt.
The silhouettes were a part of the Walk in Silence for victims of domestic violence. The walk went from Province House to Charlottetown city hall.
Valerie Docherty, minister responsible for the status of women, commended the crowd that turned out in spite of the -25 degree weather to support the abused women of P.E.I.
“It speaks such volumes to who you are and the role you play in our province in order to prevent and make a difference in ending family violence.”
Much like pink represents breast cancer, purple is used to represent women who suffer from domestic violence. Some in the crowd were wearing purple, but Docherty said she could see purple in everyone’s hearts, adding it now represented the fight against family violence.
“I don’t see it as a pretty colour anymore.”
Since joining the walk five years ago, Docherty said she was amazed at how much the cause has spread across the Island. Children are now participating in schools to show their support.
“We are doing the right thing when we see so much participation.”
A film was to be shown that evening at McDougall Hall at UPEI at 7 called Tough Guys Too. Docherty warned the movie might be disturbing for some.
“In order to prove a point, we have to actually see what’s happening out there.”
DJ Carragher, a board member of the P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Services, said the red silhouettes are a part of the Silent Witness Project. The nation wide project is to bring awareness to the women murdered in acts of domestic violence.
“The Silent Witness Project gives these women a voice even in death to tell of the abuse and violence they suffered at the hands of their partners.”
The 10 women represented at the Walk left behind 23 young children. Their deaths and those children growing up without mothers shows the ultimate price of family violence, said Carragher.
To put and end to family violence, all Islanders must come together to show support for women, said Carragher, adding she wasn’t only there as a board member of the P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Service.
“As a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a member of the Island community, I’m here today like many of you to show support against domestic violence.”
Between 2012 and 2013, 500 women reached out for help against domestic violence, said Carragher. Fifty per cent of those were reaching out for the first time.
Domestic violence goes on behind closed doors, so many of us don’t realize it’s going on, said Carragher. It can happen to anyone of any age, and any economic status.
“Our homes should be a safe haven for our families.”