Candlelight Vigil

December 19, 2012

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Cold, but hopeful, we gathered in Mcburney Junction.

I arrived with my parents and one of my cousins to our seventh vigil held annually on the 25th day of November.  We gathered with the usual handful of survivors and those who work within a local not-for-profit that supports and walks with those fleeing violence.

The 8th annual candlelight vigil was held to honour victims of domestic violence, not only the first-hand victims, but also the witnesses and children of this violence.

Artificial candles wrapped in purple ribbons were handed out to the cold attendees. Only about 25 people were in attendance, numbers not much larger than in previous years. Ishtar Transition Housing Society and all the sponsors were hopeful about the future, hoping people would become more aware of the issue of domestic violence and attend annually.

The vigil kicks off 16 days of activism against gender violence and the elimination of violence against women; it ends December 10 with international Human Rights Day.

There was a lot to say and only about 30 minutes to say it. Several speakers addressed the crowd, including Mayor Fassbender from Langley City, the Officer in Charge of Langley RCMP Detachment, Superintendent Derek Cook, and M.P. Mark Warawa’s wife, to list only a few.

Each one passionately addressed the crowd, stating statistics and the effects of violence on women and children.  Delegates asked that each person in attendance talk to friends and neighbours about the subject and also that we spread awareness in hopes that the turnout next year would be tenfold.

I am personally inviting everyone who reads this to attend this vigil next year with the goal of helping Ishtar and all victims of domestic violence.

by Cedar Meneghello

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