Events planned for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Genesis House Executive Director Ang Braun and Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with a box of cookies being delivered to supporters. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

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Genesis House kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month by delivering purple iced  cookies to supporting businesses in the area. They held a launch for their November campaign at Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen’s campaign office Oct. 31. “We want people to start talking about domestic abuse,” Community and Resource Development for Genesis House Kari Kauenhofen said. “One in four women have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic abuse in their home. We know it’s out there and we just want to start talking about it.”

This month includes several local initiatives including Peace Begins at Home hockey games, The Power of PJ’s, and a masquerade gala.

That’s all part of a larger goal to meet people on their turf to start conversations about domestic violence.

“As an issue in every community, we felt it was important to find different ways to engage people to be part of the solution,” Executive Director Ang Braun said.

“It’s not just a womens’ issue, it’s really a community issue,” Kauenhofen added. “A lot of people think it’s a behind closed doors issue and it should only be talked about within the family or not even talked about at all, but we really want to expose it and shed some light on the issues that are going on in our community.”

MLA Cameron Friesen praised Genesis House for the work they do and encouraged community members to take part. “This is an important month in which we as a community can pay attention to this very important issue, domestic violence,” he said.

Peace Begins at Home

Local hockey teams will wear Peace Begins at Home jerseys for specific games. Taking part will be the NPC Nighthawks on Nov. 12, the Pembina Valley Hawks Girls on Nov. 15, the Winkler Flyers on Nov. 16 and the GVC Zodiacs on Nov. 26.

The Power of PJs

A shelter campaign, The Power of PJ’s seeks to collect enough pajamas to clothe the people that come to their shelter in a year.

For Genesis House that is 65 pairs of womens pajamas and 80 pairs of children’s pajamas. They can be dropped off at South Central Regional Libraries.

“The idea of pajamas really resonates with the community because it is something that everyone needs,” Braun said. “It is a tangible gift that you know will bring comfort and warmth to the person that receives it.”

Unmasking Domestic Violence Masquerade Gala

A new event, this takes place Nov. 23 in Morden.

Party goers will enjoy a dinner, rainbow auction, live auction and entertainment from The Mood. Guests are encouraged to dress in cocktail attire, festive mask, theatrical hair and make-up. This event takes place at the Minnewasta Golf & Country Club with supper at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite for $100 with a $60 tax receipt available.

Bran said they want the events to remind people that resources are available to ending family violence.

“Genesis House recognizes that the issue of family violence is a community safety concern,” she said. “We know that in order to break the cycle of violence there needs to be support in the community for men, women and children. All community members can be a part of the solution by speaking up and supporting victims and calling out behaviours that are inappropriate or abusive.”

South Central Committee on Family Violence (Genesis House) is operated by a six member board which is dedicated to providing a confidential service, including a shelter for abused women and their children. The last fiscal year saw Genesis House provide shelter to 48 women and 36 children.

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