The annual Purple Light Nights 2016 campaign kicks off Monday

Opinion: Shining a light

Purple Light Nights offer a beacon of hope and information for those dealing with domestic violence

Those purple lights you see showing up in Chilliwack windows this month aren’t a sign of an early Christmas.

They’re a reminder of something far less merry: domestic violence.

Every year in October the lights come on to illuminate what is too often a hidden crime. They not only bring awareness, they also offer hope.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the annual Purple Light Nights campaign has been a part of that campaign since 2007.

The message is a simple one: Domestic violence – in any of its forms – has no place in the community.

For that to happen, we must first be aware of its prevalence. According to police, roughly 25 per cent of families are affected by domestic violence. Not only are the repercussions immediate, they can have long term consequences, creating a pattern of abuse that can extend through generations.

Second, we need the courage to stand up to domestic violence when we see it.

Too often, it is a crime that goes unreported, say RCMP, either by the victim, or by those who are reluctant to get involved. Police urge people to speak up and contact RCMP if they suspect abuse.

But enforcement is only one tool. Education is another.

Part of the Purple Light Nights campaign is to inform people what services and supports exist in the community.

Because help is available, says Darlene Wahlstrom, Victim Services coordinator for Chilliwack RCMP.

People simply need to ask.

For information about the Purple Light Nights campaign, contact Beverly Coles of Chilliwack Community Services Specialized Victim Services, 604-792-4267 or visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Business Excellence Awards return in 2021 with six new categories

Using a virtual format, the awards will celebrate innovation and inspiration in a pandemic

Chilliwack BC Liberal candidate hopeful jumps to the BC Conservatives

Days after Janzen said she had ‘rug yanked’ from under her by BC Liberals she finds a new home

Chilliwack RCMP still seeking second suspect in Charles Avenue truck fire

Jordan Cole Burt was taken into RCMP custody while wanted on an outstanding warrant

Chilliwack’s Gary Robbins maps out epic trail across eight mountains

Robbins spent nearly 40 hours covering 110 miles and over 10,000 metres of elevation gain

Driver in fatal crash near Hope pleads guilty in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez scheduled to be sentenced for death following crime spree in 2017

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read