Shine a light on domestic violence

Ken Kellar

A local organization is leading the charge against woman abuse this month.

Riverside Community Counselling Services, a program of Riverside Health Care, kicked off their annual “Shine the Light” campaign with a flag raising at the civic centre on Friday.

Jacquee Loerzel is the Community Family Violence Counsellor at Riverside Community Counselling, and she explained that “Shine the Light” is an initiative that was created by the London Abused Women Centre in London, Ont.

It ties into the province-wide “Woman Abuse Awareness Month” each November. The Town of Fort Frances has also proclaimed November as “Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.”
As a part of the campaign, Riverside Community Counselling has a few events lined up over the month.

“Nov. 15 is ‘Wear Purple Day,'” Loerzel explained.

“That’s the official ‘Wear Purple Day,’ so we’re hoping everybody in the community will help to support the campaign by wearing purple on that day.”

Coinciding with “Wear Purple Day,” Riverside Community Counselling will also be holding a ribbon-cutting event for its new sexual assault space on Nov. 15.

“The space is through Riverside Community Counselling, in partnership with Riverside Health Care,” Loerzel said.

“It came about as we were able to access some funding for sexual assault patient care services, and we felt that it was important to acknowledge that sexual assault victims have a really confidential and comfortable space where they can come to to have their medical needs provided when it comes to reporting sexual assault.”

And on Nov. 21, Riverside Community Counselling will also be holding an awareness and wellness fair at the Métis Hall from 6 to 8 p.m, with an honouring ceremony taking place at 6:30 p.m.
Loerzel noted the event is open to the public.

She is also encouraging local businesses and organizations to support the “Shine the Light” campaign and the end of woman abuse by decorating their offices and storefronts in purple.

For more information about the “Shine the Light” campaign, call Riverside Community Counselling Services at 274-4807, ext. 1.