Trail Violence Against Women In Relationships (VAWIR) Committee is holding its annual Clothesline Project Display on Tuesday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Trail Ferraro Foods near the store entrance.
The event includes a free hot dog lunch, a display of colourful, thought provoking T-shirts bearing anti-violence messages and an opportunity to meet local service providers who are working to end gender based violence and to support victims of sexual and domestic abuse.
The idea for the Clothesline Project originated 32 years ago in the U.S. The movement has since spread across North America and around the world from Australia to Africa to the Middle East.
“The concept was based on laundry traditionally being women’s work. In close knit communities, this task gave women the opportunity to talk and to tell each other their stories of domestic abuse while hanging out the wash,” Trail organizers explain.
“Through the focus of the Clothesline Project, women can now tell their stories in their own unique way by drawing and writing messages on T-shirts which are then hung up for the community to see and to learn.”
In Canada, domestic abuse and violence against women remain a serious concern with one out of three women experiencing intimate partner violence at some time in their adult lives.
Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
VAWIR emphasizes that disturbing reports of sexual violence and harassment on college and university campuses are ongoing as well as in public schools, and reports of domestic abuse escalated during the pandemic.
Let’s talk about coercive control:
Many think of domestic abuse in terms of a victim being physically harmed, but the term “coercive control” incorporates many abusive behaviours that are just as damaging and often precede physical violence, but are not, to date, criminal offences under Canadian law.
Increasingly, the concept of “coercive control” is being used to describe a pattern of behaviours by a current or former partner or family member that causes the victim to fear they will be physically harmed, causes their mental health to decline or causes the victim such alarm or distress that there is a substantial adverse effect on their day-to-day activities, such as work, school or their ability to take care of children.
There have been some attempts to have “coercive control” added to the Canadian Criminal Code, such as has already happened in Scotland, France, Ireland, and some American states, but progress is slow.
About Trail VAWIR:
The Trail Area VAWIR Inter-Agency Committee, organizers of the May 17 event, is made up of representatives from RCMP Victim Services, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, the Mental Health Club House, Ministry of Children and Family Development, RCMP and several Trail FAIR programs. The latter include the WINS Transition House, Stop the Violence Counselling, Community Based Victim Services and the PEACE and SAIP programs which provide counselling for children who have either witnessed domestic abuse or experienced sexual abuse.