Groups take action to prevent violence against women
Four Island organizations will receive funding through the Violence Against Women Prevention Grants to enhance awareness, education and action towards preventing violence against women in Prince Edward Island.
“Violence and abuse affects everyone. We want to live in a place where people are safe, respected, and treated well. It’s important to support community organizations in their efforts to shed light on violence, support survivors, and bring attention to online violence and harassment.”
- Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Natalie Jameson
The following organizations will receive Violence Against Women Prevention grants:
- PEI Family Violence Prevention Services will receive $7,500 to increase awareness of services that support individuals affected by violence and the many ways to access them.
- Actions Femmes IPE will receive $10,000 to shed light on the taboo and secrecy surrounding domestic violence, particularly in small Acadian communities in rural areas.
- The PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre will receive $15,000 to build on the success of the Take Back the Night 2020 event on PEI, to raise awareness, support survivors, and bring attention to the work needed to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse, and all other forms of sexualized violence.
- The PEI Coalition for Women in Government will receive $15,950 to document experiences of women in leadership during COVID-19, with a focus on online gender-based cyber violence. The work will help inform the best way to deal with online harassment.
“The urgency to stop family violence has been raised throughout the pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to ensure people are aware of the multiple ways they can connect and access services. Our team has worked hard to adapt our services so that we are able to get help to those who need it, in a safe and timely way. This funding will help us promote those efforts,” said Danya O’Malley, executive director of PEI Family Violence Prevention Services.
November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In Prince Edward Island, it is also the launch of the Purple Ribbon Campaign to support survivors.
Each year, the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women asks Islanders to wear a purple ribbon for 16 days – from November 25 to December 10 – to raise awareness about violence against women and children here on PEI, across Canada, and throughout the world. The 2020-2021 theme of the Purple Ribbon Campaign is ‘Support Survivors.’
“Every year, hundreds of Islanders are the victims of violence against women and children. Most survive. The message of the Purple Ribbon Campaign is that we must work together to end violence and abuse and learn how to support the survivors in our communities,” said Jameson.
This year the Montreal Massacre Memorial Service will occur online due to COVID-19. It will be broadcast at noon on Sunday, Dec. 6 through Zoom. Everyone is welcome to join and tickets are free. This annual gathering honours the lives of women that have been lost to violence: PEI women, the 14 women of l’Ecole Polytechnique, and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Interministerial Women’s Secretariat
- On December 6, 1989, 14 women were murdered at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal. They were singled out and murdered because they were women.
- Since 1991, the Prince Edward Island Advisory Council on the Status of Women has organized its Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence.
- The Interministerial Women’s Secretariat provides support to community organizations and their efforts to increase awareness and prevention of violence towards women. The secretariat has awarded $200,000 to community organizations since the Violence Against Women Prevention Grants began in 2017.
Family violence prevention
- If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, help is available. People who are directed to self-isolate but need to go to a shelter will not be subject to fines for not complying with the direction to self-isolate.
- Anderson House, the Chief Mary Bernard Memorial Women’s Shelter, Victim Services and the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre all continue to offer services and accept new clients. The Province has also identified additional housing capacity to further support families of family violence, as needed, if and when Anderson House cannot accommodate.
- Outreach Services for abused women as well as possible victims of abuse are available across the Province. Outreach coordinators provide one on one support, group support, referral services, safety assessment and planning, advocacy, accompaniment to court and other meetings, information and public education.
- These services can be accessed by calling the 24/7, toll-free help line, 211. If the situation is urgent, call 911.