Violence against women is an issue that should hit home for everyone so that it can be prevented, according to Womens Resource Centres outreach worker Rachel King.

We have a plan, she explained. Historically, we have purple lights shining (a light on abusive behaviours) in all of the businesses and were trying to expand beyond Invermere. Our goal is to have the valley (involved), from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats to Skookumchuck, because thats the area we cover in our programs.

The week-long Purple Light Campaign aims to use purple lights to shine a light on domestic violence, while honouring the victims and survivors from a horrifying political crime.

On December 6th, 1989, shooter Marc Lepine entered Montreals Ecole Polytechnique and opened fire, killing 14 women. During the violent attack, Mr. Lepine was heard ranting about how feminists had ruined his life.

In addition to the slain women, Mr. Lepine also wounded 13 others at the University of Montreals engineering school, before taking his own life.

Violence has no place in our community, said Ms. King. It affects us all and every women has the right to live free from violence and abuse in their home, work place and community and by doing the Purple Light campaign, we can make that a reality.

In fact, this year the push to promote healthy relationships will be making it to the schools as the David Thompson Secondary School Leadership Class is conducting supervised research on domestic violence with their teacher Dwayne

Zahara.

The Leadership Class will also be chipping in to help the Womens Resource Centre raise awareness around violence against women.

The David Thompson Secondary Schools Leadership Class will be coming down, forming teams, and going to all of the businesses to deliver purple lights throughout the community, said Ms. King about the Monday, November 30th drop-off. We do call the businesses ahead of time to ensure that the businesses are on board for it and that theyll have a spot to put the lamp.

In addition, Family Dynamix executive director Pat Cope will be encouraging people in the Columbia Valley to wear purple during the first week of December to raise awareness.

The kids wear pink T-shirts to raise awareness about the anti-bullying initiative in April, said Penny McIntyre, Womens Resource Centre staffer. It would be great to see them doing the same thing with purple shirts at the Open House were hosting or anytime throughout the first week of December.

Additionally, to mark the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, there will be an opportunity for womens rights advocates to drop by the Womens Resource Centre on Monday, December 7th between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to talk to staff and volunteers, enjoy snacks and mingle.

We really want to encourage people to come down and see what our Womens Resource Centre has to offer, said Ms. Cope, noting it would be ideal to have enough community support next year to make the week-long campaign more widely recognized with a public walk and vigil.

The purple lights will remain lit within the Columbia Valley during the first week of December.