On Thursday, April 18 2019 at noon, Revelstokians of all ages marched from Revelstoke Secondary School (RSS) to the Grizzly Plaza in honour of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week.
The awareness week came into being in 1995, when the NDP government declared April 14-21 as “Prevention of Violence Against Women Week” in British Columbia.
“Whereas women have the right to feel safe and live free from violence, to reach their full potential and to contribute fully to their family and society (official proclamation by the Province of British Columbia),” the official statement reads.
In Revelstoke, yesterday’s march was organized by the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter in an effort to raise awareness of the issue of domestic abuse in Canada.
Lynn Loeppky, the Executive Director of the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter, notes that last year 68,000 people sought help from shelters. The number of those abused is likely much higher. 99% of those seeking shelter from violence were women and children.
Many of those marching were Grade 11/12 students from RSS. A group of young men, holding signs and proudly marching, spoke of the importance of offering support to their friends who are young women.
“They should never have to worry about their safety because of how a guy might react to something,” one said.
Mercedes Loeppky, a high school student and Lynn’s granddaughter, has been involved in the Women’s Shelter for years.
“It’s really important for young people to get involved in this kind of awareness,” Mercedes said. “Domestic violence is a reality for a huge number of people around the world. It doesn’t take much to learn about it and help make things better.”