Edmonton run aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence

Colleen Sillito and Michael Cameron. Courtesy, Michael Cameron

Two years after the murder of his girlfriend, an Alberta man hopes to raise awareness about the issue of gender-based violence.

Mike Cameron has organized the first-ever “Ignore No More – Run For Respect.” The Edmonton event includes a three-kilometre run and a 10-kilometre run, and aims to raise awareness of healthy relationship ideals and how toxic ideas of masculinity contribute to violence.

“What we’re hoping to do is promote healthy masculinity, healthy relationships [and] the target is to get young men and boys out,” Cameron said. “We’ve really tried to focus on the different athletics teams… and just talk about what I think we don’t talk enough about – what it really means to be a man.”

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Colleen Sillito-Kruger was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend on Oct. 2, 2015. After two years, Cameron says he sees how cultural attitudes towards masculinity may have contributed to the act of violence.

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“Clearly there was a man who made a decision based on a temporary emotion that had very permanent consequences,” he said. “So I think there’s some real perils in men not feeling comfortable exploring their emotions.

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The run also aims to raise money for Edmonton charity SAIF (Stop Abuse In Families). The organization provides support and resources for those looking to get out of abusive situations.

Cameron hopes to make the charity run an annual event, and to reach as many boys and men as possible for the purpose of education. He explains that these issues weren’t something he thought about until tragedy struck.

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“If my upper-middle class, white-privileged backside can be touched by this issue, it’s an issue that can touch anyone,” Cameron said.

“Two-and-a-half years ago, this was not something that was on my radar, which I think speaks to the need to have the conversation.”

The run begins at 9 a.m. at Goldbar Park on Oct. 8.


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