Light the Cowichan Valley purple this holiday to combat violence

A glow of purple lights in Duncan Friday, Nov. 25 will kick off the Warmland Women’s Support Services’ 16 Days of Activism

A glow of purple lights in Duncan Friday, Nov. 25 will kick off the Warmland Women’s Support Services’ 16 Days of Activism, part of an annual global campaign emphasizing that violence against women is a violation of human rights.

“The prevalence of domestic violence in the Cowichan Valley is alarming,” said WWSS Kendra Thomas. “As Cowichan Valley residents we share a desire for a safe and inclusive community. We know that together we are stronger.”

The idea is to hang up purple lights at your home or business to show your support.

Thomas, program coordinator for WWSS, says the group’s fourth annual Purple Lights event is “part of a made-in-Cowichan response to domestic violence.”

The idea of hanging the special lights is to generate conversation on the idea that gender violence has no place in the Valley.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is lighting up the detachment in purple for the third year in a row and this year the City of Duncan will join in as well, decking City Hall in purple.

“Duncan city council have been very supportive of any initiative to raise awareness of gender and family violence in our community. We have worked with the RCMP and the court system in the past to ask for a more responsive and expedited process locally to address the safety of families. Everyone must play a role in addressing the serious prevalence of domestic violence,” said Mayor Phil Kent.

Thomas is glad of this official support.

“Violence against women is a community issue and it takes community-led actions to bring us together to address the harms of family violence. North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and the City of Duncan are role models in the Cowichan Valley and we raise our hands to them and all community members for supporting the campaign,” she said.

Purple Light Nights runs until Dec. 10.