As you drove around the city this month, you might have noticed purple porch lights. A display of purple lights serves as an act of solidarity with those who have been or are still facing domestic violence. Started in October 2007 by the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Covington, United States, the Purple Lights Nights public awareness and educational campaign has been a way to honor victims who died as a result of domestic violence and give hope to survivors. It is held during the month of October, which has been recognized internationally as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
On June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to name September 30 as a federal statutory day of remembrance. It is observed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. September 30th is also known as Orange Shirt Day. It is a day where we commemorate, witness and honour the healing journeys of residential school survivors and their families. It is an invitation to engage in meaningful discussion with friends, family and colleagues about the history and continued legacy of the residential school system. At Dixon, September 30th also marks a day we recognize the overrepresentation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and girls as victims of violence in Canada.
The weather is getting cooler, and the Labour Day weekend is almost upon us, which means that back-to-school season has arrived in Canada. Every year, thousands of students make an exciting transition from high school to university, ready for a flurry of new experiences. While many of these new experiences are life-changing and positive, domestic violence is still heavily present on college campuses, where one in five women are expected to experience some form of sexual assault at a post-secondary institution in their college years. Furthermore, the risk for experiencing sexual violence is two times higher for women aged 18-24, compared to ages 25-34. Teaching young women the importance of safety, preventative measures, and raising awareness about sexual assault on campuses can help reduce the prevalence on campus.