Post by Katie Rosenthal

Our Silver Lining series returns to Canada this week, where victims of violence against women are being honoured in a lasting way.

The town of Perth, in the region of Ottawa will soon host a yet undefined statue to commemorate victims and raise awareness. Perth’s mayor, John Fenik has pledged his support for the venture, and two local female artists have been shortlisted to create the statue. There are currently several proposed sites under consideration, including some in the vicinity of the city’s town hall and court house.

The statue was discussed at a recent meeting of the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, where it was explained that a local company, Log Homes Timber and Framing has offered to donate benches to the commemoratory project, so that people are able to sit and reflect on the consequences of domestic violence.

An attendee of the meeting who has experienced domestic violence explained that “I know how it feels to hold a horrible secret, and how hard it is to speak out when you think no one is listening. The monument will help make sure that the abused and murdered women can be remembered”. The attendee is in the midst of a local course entitled “From Survivor to Advocate”, which helps females to regain their voices and learn new skills. These include media and political relations, computer skills, presentation preparation and coalition building. This course is itself testament to the work being done in the region to build awareness of the pervasiveness of and damage caused by violence against women, and draws attention to the need to protect survivors in addition to commemorating victims.

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