The District of Squamish is taking a stand against violence against women, proclaiming April 18 to 24 its official Prevention of Violence Against Women Week.
The week will focus on a crime that one in four women experience every year, according to a report from Statistics Canada. The report says that in an average year, 20,000 women in British Columbia alone experience violence. Half of them have children who will be exposed to violence.
In 2009, the Howe Sound Women's Centre helped 1,377 youth and 3,970 women through its programs and services, as well as 700 support calls and 191 crisis calls.
"If more people can recognize and speak out against violence against women, we have a better chance to hold offenders accountable," Shannon Cooley Herdman, Women's Program Manager at the Howe Sound Women's Centre, said in a news release. "Knowledge can help communities support women, youth and children who experience violence and prevent tragedies."
The week is being administered by the Women's Safety Network, a committee that coordinates responses to sexual assault in the Sea to Sky region. The committee is comprised of members from the Howe Sound Women's Centre, Sea to Sky Community Services, Sea to Sky Regional Police, Vancouver Coastal Health and other institutions.
To learn more about the Prevention Week and the Women's Safety Network, as well as services offered by the Howe Sound Women's Centre, contact 604-892-5748 or call the 24-hour crisis line at 1-877-890-5711. Also visit www.bcysth.ca.