Strathcona County is taking action against domestic violence in their Reach Out, Speak Out Campaign.
The campaign features two main components. The Silent Witness exhibit will feature large, red, wooden silhouettes around the county in October. The exhibits will be in county facilities, local business, and schools. The White Ribbon Campaign Focuses on enhancing understanding and how individuals can take action against family violence.
“The Reach Out, Speak Out campaign is about building awareness and starting positive dialogue,” said Tracy Gravelle, a Community Developer for Strathcona County Family and Community Services.
Gravelle says the focus of the conversation is on personal well-being, healthy relationships, and with the goal to end family violence. She adds that healthy relationships are a major factor in preventing domestic violence, and are made up of respect, trust, boundaries and communication.
In 2015 there were 840 domestic violence reports to RCMP in Strathcona County. Gravelle explains that the number may be even higher, as many cases could go unreported. Family violence is often still considered a taboo topic to discuss in public.
“Many people still believe it’s a private matter,” Gravelle explained. “So as a community who cares for each other, it should be all of our business.”
Gravelle also says the campaign aims to remind the public that family violence can affect anyone. It happens in all ages, cultures, religions, and income levels.
“If we have one individual that reaches out for help, then this campaign has been a success,” said Gravelle.
You can join the conversation, share your thoughts on the exhibits, and promote solutions on Twitter at #SCSpeakout. If you want to help, want to see change, or need help with family violence, you can find information here.