York Regional Police raised a purple ribbon flag to raise awareness for intimate partner violence for the first time at its Aurora headquarters and stations throughout the region.
For November's Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month, YRP held a flag-raising ceremony today in collaboration with York Region Centre for Community Safety.
“We continue to pay tribute to all the young girls, women, and men whose lives were tragically lost to intimate partner violence and to promote the collaborative effort required by all members of our community to eradicate intimate partner violence," said Chief Jim MacSween.
He said the goal is to encourage survivors to speak out, raise awareness, and spark conversation. He said YRP's partnerships with community agencies, like York Region Centre for Community Safety, is an important part of that.
The centre offers a number of specialized services under one roof and provides access to other services with seamless transition, said Jaspreet Gill, executive director at the centre, at the flag raising.
“The message to the community is clear; survivors matter and intimate partner violence is an epidemic that’s impacting the safety and well-being of survivors and their children,” she said.
While there is a long way to go, she said, this flag raising helps start the month with hope.
YRP will continue to raise awareness through November. The organization will also recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Nov. 25 and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, which encompasses the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in honour of the14 women killed in the 1989 Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique.
During those 16 days, purple ribbon decals will be added to all YRP frontline vehicles and all officers will be wearing purple ribbon pins on their uniforms.
"We want to convey to our community that there is no place for any form of violence, especially intimate partner violence, in the homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools or anywhere in York Region," MacSween said.