White ribbons opening up the conversation

November 3, 2016

White ribbons opening up the conversation

This November, residents are invited to wear a white ribbon pin as visual support of ending family violence and supporting healthy relationships.

“Speaking out against family violence can be very intimidating,” says Mayor Roxanne Carr. “By wearing the white ribbon, we are spreading the message of support to anyone affected by family violence that we, as a community, will not tolerate any form of violence.” 

“Strathcona County RCMP are committed to working with our community partners to bring an end to family violence in our community," says Inspector Beth Leatherdale, Officer in Charge of the Strathcona County RCMP.  “With our dedicated Domestic Violence Unit and Victims Services Unit, we are working hard to ensure victims of Family Violence are supported and do not need to stand alone."

All residents are encouraged to become a champion by changing the conversation to supporting healthy relationships through all stages of life. White ribbons are available at County facilities and the Bethel Transit Centre, free of charge throughout the month of November, as part of National Family Violence Prevention month.

The White Ribbon Campaign is part of an international movement that symbolizes people’s commitment towards positive relationships. Established in 1991 by a small group of Canadian men, the campaign urges men to speak out against violence against women. Now in almost 60 countries, the White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women and girls, and to promote gender equality, healthy relationships, and a new vision of masculinity.

In addition to participating in the White Ribbon Campaign, Strathcona County has developed a local network of men in the community, known as Men as Allies, who recognize that everyone has a role to play in ending family violence. Through their spheres of influence Men as Allies raise awareness and educate men and women about their role in preventing domestic violence.

Also, the County’s Make it Our Business presentation educate local businesses, organizations and community groups on how to recognize and respond to signs of family violence in the workplace. 

The White Ribbon Campaign follows the Silent Witness Exhibit, which consisted of several large, red, wooden silhouettes placed in public facilities throughout the County during the month of October. The goals of the exhibit were to generate discussions on personal well-being, and healthy relationships, to commemorate and honour the lives of individuals and victims killed in Alberta in acts of family violence, to educate our community about the varying degrees of family violence; while highlighting that people affected by family violence are not alone, and there are resources and supports available for those who are at risk.

Anyone who is in, or aware of an abusive situation, is encouraged to call the Safe Place 24-hour crisis line at 780-464-7233. Contact Strathcona County Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044 or view a complete list of County initiatives and supports available to address family violence.

Residents are also invited to share their views on creating a supported, safe and connected community by taking a survey or hosting a conversation through Community Talk (part of the County’s social framework renewal).

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of almost 96,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

 

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Contact:

Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595