Purple ribbons return to Stamp Avenue

Alberni Community and Women's Services kicks off 16 Days of Activism campaign with ribbons.

The purple ribbons are back on Stamp Avenue.

Every year Alberni Community and Women’s Services Society (ACAWS) erects purple ribbons along Stamp Avenue to reflect the number of domestic violence calls received by the Port Alberni RCMP between Nov. 1 of last year and Nov. 1 of this year.

This year there will be 118 ribbons, says ACAWS executive director, Joanne Silver, to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The 118 ribbons represent that many calls of spousal assault or violent behaviour that the RCMP received. Other statistics released by the RCMP include 24 sexual assaults including youth, 15 sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching or sexual exploitation and 280 breaches

The 16 Days campaign is an international movement originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. Participants chose Nov. 25 as International Day Against Violence Against Women, and Dec. 10 as International Human Rights Day in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights, and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights, says Joanne Silver, executive director of ACAWS.

Other dates of note during the 16 Days of Activism include Dec. 1 (World AIDS Day) and Dec. 6 (Day of Remembering and Montreal Massacre Anniversary).

The Human Service Worker students from North Island College will remember the victims of the Montreal Massacre — 14 women who were killed at École Polytechnique University on Dec. 6, 1989, simply because they were women — at a special ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 3. The event will start at noon in the cafeteria on the Port Alberni campus and include speeches, prayers, food and entertainment. The public is welcome to attend.

editor@albernivalleynews.com