April 6, 2016
What needs to happen to create a safer community? What needs to happen to create a sense of meaningful justice and validation of women’s lived experience at the hands of their abusers? What needs to happen to build the capacity of each member of the community at large to say NO to acts of violence? What needs to happen to compel those with power and responsibility to act in a manner that protects the rights of victims?
Attempt murder? We have evidence of this and at this point attempt murder won’t make the cut.
Murder? We have lost 7 to violence since September 2015, in rural Ontario, so evidently not murder.
Victims and survivors healing from the trauma of violence? Not likely
Public discourse in the media related to celebrity cases involving violence? No
World discourse as women are missing, violated and punished for exercising their rights? Nope
Change in leadership with a lens to equality and reconciliation? Not even a chance.
In Lanark County we experienced a horrific act of violence in February 2016 that was very public and resulted in 2 lives lost, several victim survivors and a community fraught with anger and disbelief. This community is mobilizing and just this past Monday, approximately 70 Lanark Highlands community members gathered to address the level of violence against women.
Four rural forums are being planned during the month of April to address violence in rural Eastern Ontario including Renfrew, Nappanee and Lanark County. Dialogue is happening across this province in many forms. #We believe survivors is a strong message that has been embraced and unites us in solidarity.
So help us understand how, yet another act of violence is perpetrated in Lanark County, 6 charges are laid including attempt murder and the alleged perpetrator is released?! How is this possible in a community, in a province and in a Nation where violence against women has been central in many circles?
So what needs to happen?
Accountability, an authentic understanding of the cycle, a commitment to real, meaningful, and demonstrated consequence to violence against women and the political and personal will to take on the responsibility, to want it bad enough, to make it happen.
What can you do to make it happen? Please ask the Ontario Legislature, what they will do to create meaningful change for the women of this province?
Lanark County Interval House