Hiatus House lights a tree purple as part of its annual Shine the Light campaign


The tree in Charles Clark Square has been lit up purple for Woman Abuse Prevention Month.

Hiatus House met with community members Thursday evening to light up the tree as part of its annual Shine the Light on Woman Abuse - Tree Lighting Ceremony. 

This is the twelfth year in a row that Windsor is taking part in this campaign, which began 13 years ago in London, Ontario. 

The campaign calls for community agencies, businesses, and citizens to work toward turning their city purple individually and collectively during the month of November to raise awareness of woman abuse.

Hiatus House honours survivors during this month, and is hoping the ceremony inspires women who are living with violence to reach out.

Sylvie Guenther, Executive Director of Hiatus House, says November shines the light on women's abuse. 

"It's really an opportunity for us to spend the month highlighting the importance of this issue. We want to end violence against women, and we can't do it without bringing in our community and letting people know what we're working on. So, it's important that we can have a number of events in the community that help us do that."

She says the world and experiences that people have are changing.  

"It's important that we as a system shift along with that change. You know, the complexity that people bring with them really needs the whole community to come together and rally behind these women that are experiencing violence in their lives."

Guenther says they want to build 40 units of transitional housing, as those who need assistance visit Hiatus House for only six to eight weeks.

"But after that, a lot of times, we discharge them and they don't have anywhere to go so they'll go back to partner, or we'll create an issue of homelessness. And with 40 apartment units for transitional housing we can give people up to two years to learn skills, with supports wrapped around them so they can feel confident, and capable to make their way in the world after they've left the relationship."

Other events this month include the Bark in the Park - Dogs Against Domestic Violence on Sunday at Lanspeary Park, Wear Purple Day on November 15, and a special flag raising ceremony on November 24, known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, at City Hall Square.

More campaign events can be found by clicking here.

Hiatus House provides crisis services, emergency shelter, and support services to women and children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence and human trafficking.

-with files from AM800's Patty Handysides