Prevention of Violence Against Women Week is Here, Event Draws Near


(Image provided by RDKB: Jenn Penney, Program Manager of Trail & Greater District RCMP Victim Services)

This week, April 16th through 22nd, is Prevention of Violence Against Women Week in BC and the Bounce Radio Newsroom caught up with Program Manager for Trail & Greater District RCMP's Victim Services to learn more.

Jennifer Penney says it isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue impacting people from all over the world:

“50% of women in Canada have experienced sexual or physical violence and each year 20,000 women in BC experience relationship violence. It (this week) is an opportunity to bring awareness to the impacts of violence against women and provides us with an opportunity to talk about it (and), to dispel myths….”

While Penney represents programming through Trail RCMP, she explains that the Trail FAIR Society offers community based programming as well:

“They specialize in providing services to those impacted by more power based crimes, so things like relationship violence and sexual violence. They have a plethora of services down at FAIR…. I think a lot of people aren’t aware that our programs exist and that you don’t need to report to police in order to gain access to services and support. You know whether it’s yourself or a loved one, we can help you get connected to the appropriate support. These services are confidential and client centred.”

“My program here is a 24/7 on-call program and we respond to all instances of crime or tragedy and trauma, not just those who are impacted by crime but those who are you know feeling vicarious trauma through you know a loved one going through something.” adds the Program Manager for Trail RCMP's Victim Services

Penney says a local Violence Against Women in Relationships Committee holds The Clothesline Project event annually and we’re getting pretty close now:

“This year it’s on May 2nd at Ferraro Foods in Trail from 11 ‘til 2 and it’s an opportunity for us to provide community education and awareness, as well as access to resources.... There’s also a display of locally created t-shirts that bear anti-violence messages and they’re made by women and survivors who want to promote anti-violence work in the community and it gives women and survivors an opportunity to tell their stories in their own unique way…. Which are then hung up for the community to view and to learn about how impactful violence against women is. Not only for survivors but for the community as a whole.”

Penney describes the VOWIR (Violence Against Women in Relationships) Committee as a group made up of various community agencies that share a common goal to ensure all victims of sexual or relationship violence receive the best, client-centred, and collaborative response from service providers.

The May 2nd event also offers a free hotdog lunch for those attending.