A rally at Chilliwack Law Courts Friday afternoon will honour Ele Anthonysz – killed when her home was set ablaze in April – and raise awareness about women around the world who are victims of violence.
Friends and family will start gathering in Chilliwack on Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. at the courthouse, said Teresa Bridge, Anthonysz’s aunt.
“Everyone is welcome. This rally is not only to honour Ele, but also to recognize the 128 women murdered in Canada so far this year, and the children left behind,” Bridge said.
“Maybe it will help prevent someone from going through what we’ve gone through.”
Ele Anthonysz, 33, was killed in a deliberately set fire in Green Acres Mobile Home Park near Hatzic Lake on April 17. Her two children managed to escape the blaze and now live with their grandmother.
Walter Joseph Ramsay, her former partner, was charged with first degree murder in the wake of the fire that killed Anthonysz.
Ramsay has a sentencing hearing slated for Dec. 4, at which time he is expected to enter a plea.
The rally has a global vision.
High levels of violence worldwide indicate that “while we have come far, we still have a long way to go,” noted Bridge.
“To end violence against women we must continue to fight for social, economic, and political change. Raising awareness is a fundamental step toward that change.”
Several speakers are set to say a few words at the Friday rally, including a BC Lions team member with Be More Than A Bystander program, and someone from Bikers Against Child Abuse.
More than 100 luminaries will be lit with candles to represent each of the 128 women killed, said Bridge.
“It’s going to be quite an eye-opener,” she said.
The rally is happening 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the courthouse, but the issue is much broader.
“Violence against women is a global problem,” said Beverly Coles, with Specialized Victim Assistance of Chilliwack Community Services.
“But no matter where they live, everyone deserves to be safe. It’s important to talk about this, and point out that it’s wrong.”
Donations to Anthonysz’s family can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/sdsjf4
—with files from Kevin Mills, Mission City Record