A colourful array of locally hand painted T-shirts bearing powerful messages about the issue of violence against women, will be hanging on clotheslines in the Ferraro Foods parking lot in downtown Trail on Tuesday, April 21 from 11am to 2pm. Creators of the painted messages include women who have experienced violence, as well as youth, friends, family and community members whose lives have also been deeply affected by this violence.
This Clothesline Project event, organized by the local Violence Against Women in Relationships Inter-Agency Committee also includes a free lunch, information about local resources and opportunities to talk with Committee members who are offering services and support to individuals and families affected by domestic violence.
In addition, the Trail Library will host a smaller display of T-shirts and resources for a couple of weeks beginning April 14.
Every year in BC there are over 60,000 physical or sexual assaults against women – almost all of them are committed by men. In Canada a woman is killed by her intimate partner on average of one every six days. Half of all women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual violence since becoming an adult. Psychological, verbal, financial, and spiritual abuse can be just as damaging as physical or sexual assault. The abuser will use whatever means available to exert power and control over the victim, with the goal of destroying self-esteem and autonomy.
Every day in Trail and surrounding communities, women are being assaulted, abused, intimidated, threatened, stalked, and harassed. Violence against women is not a private matter. It affects our communities in many ways including the workplace and the classroom. It’s estimated that the financial cost of abuse in Canada is over $7 billion a year.
Violence Against Women In Relationship (VAWIR) Committees are found in communities throughout BC. They are made up of representatives from agencies, service providers and community organizations with an interest in preventing and responding to violence against women. The committees act as a collaborative forum to facilitate networking around service delivery and education. Many Committees, including the one in Trail, organize public events during or close to Prevention of Violence Against Women Week ( April 12 – 18)
Supporting the Clothesline Project is one way for residents to contribute to changing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours with respect to the issue of violence against women.
For more information on the VAWIR Committee and the Clothesline Project contact Ann Godderis at the WINS Transition House 250-364-1543.