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Purple Lights Vigil returns to New Westminster City Hall

Prevention of Violence Against Women Week: New West residents invited to help take a stand against domestic violence.
Last year, New West city hall was lit up in purple in recognition Prevention of Violence Against Women Week.

New West residents are invited to take a stand against domestic violence.

WINGS Fellowship Ministries, which operates the Monarch Place transition house for women and children fleeing domestic violence, invites community members to attend its upcoming Purple Lights Vigil. April 14 to 20 is Prevention of Violence Against Women Week.

“To recognize the importance of this issue, at 5 p.m. on April 16, Monarch Place Transition House is hosting the annual Purple Light Nights Vigil on the steps of New Westminster’s City Hall,” said a statement to the Record from Monarch Place. “They will be joined by the New Westminster Police Department and members of the New Westminster city council to bring awareness of the impact of violence against women and children, and our responsibility towards addressing the systemic barriers that contribute to domestic violence. The public is invited to attend.”

Monarch Place operates an emergency transition home in New Westminster for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is not limited to a single class of people. It is found in all neighbourhoods, all cultures, and all socio-economic groups,” said the statement. “Monarch Place has assisted thousands of women and children as they flee their situation and try to move on. We are glad that we can be there for them, but what we’d really like to see is a community, a country and a world where transition homes like ours are no longer needed. To do this, we need to increase awareness.”

Community members can “shine a purple light” to take a stand against domestic violence.

Purple is the colour associated with domestic violence awareness.

As part of the Purple Lights Night campaign, a string of 25 purple lights can be purchased for $20, while pins or silicone bracelets are available for a minimum donation of $1. Contact Monarch Place for more information – 604-521-1888.

WINGS has gathered statistics about domestic violence from several sources. Here’s some of what they’ve found:

  • More than four in 10 women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • In 2018, 44 per cent of women reported experiencing some form of psychological, physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • In 2022, 184 women and girls in Canada were violently killed, primarily by men. One woman or girl is killed every 48 hours.
  • It’s estimated that $7.4 billion is spent each year to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone. This includes costs such as emergency room visits, loss of income, funerals, and intangible costs such as pain and suffering.
  • Children who witness 10 or more incidents of parental domestic violence before the age of 16 are at least twice as likely to attempt suicide.
  • Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders and children from non-violent homes.
  • On any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and their children sleep in shelters because it’s not safe at home, and about 300 women and children are turned away because the shelters are full.