Police and others are shining a light on domestic violence and reminding people that it “has no place in our community,” says Chilliwack RCMP.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and on Monday, the annual Purple Light Nights tree-lighting ceremony will be taking place outside the Chilliwack RCMP building.
The campaign honours those who lost their lives to domestic violence, supports survivors, and gives hope to those still living with abuse. With purple being the signifying colour, the detachment will be illuminated with purple lights for the entire month of October.
“Domestic violence is a social issue that can affect anyone regardless of their age, sexual orientation, economic background, or race,” said Cpl. Carmen Kiener of the Chilliwack RCMP domestic violence unit. “It not only affects the victims, but also affects the children in the home, family members, and sometimes even pets. The purpose of the purple lights illuminating the RCMP detachment this month is to bring community awareness to domestic violence and send the message that it has no place in our community.”
Other partner agencies taking part in the tree-lighting ceremony include Chilliwack RCMP Victim Services, Specialized Victim Assistance Program, Chilliwack Community Services, Ann Davis Transition Society and Wilma’s Transition Society.
Additionally, ‘silent witnesses’ will be placed throughout the city.
Silent witnesses are life-sized silhouettes of women, men and children. They are painted red and each silhouette represents someone who once lived, worked, raised children and played amongst us – someone who lost their life as a result of domestic violence.
Because these victims no longer have a voice, the silhouettes are called ‘silent witnesses.’
“The Chilliwack RCMP responds to over 50,000 calls for services annually, almost 1,400 of these reports are related to domestic violence. Even one incident of domestic violence is too many and we must work together to change this,” Cpl. Kiener said.
The public is welcome to attend the tree-lighting ceremony which takes place on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Chilliwack RCMP detachment at 46326 Airport Rd.