Barrie to raise flag as part of campaign to fight violence against women

Barrie, Ont., City Hall file photo Aug. 14, 2022. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

The Women and Children’s Shelter and the City of Barrie will raise a flag in front of city hall Friday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

More than four in 10 women have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes, the shelter said.

“Women are disproportionately subjected to intimate partner violence, and there is a need to recognize that these are not just numbers but women who have the right to live with dignity and free of fear, violence and discrimination,” the shelter said in a statement.

A 2021 Statistics Canada report showed that in 2018, 44 per cent of women reported experiencing some form of psychological, physical, or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

“As a community, we need to bring awareness to violence against women and girls around the world – as this is a global issue,” said Mayor Alex Nuttall.

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“Raising the flag on Friday is just the first step towards taking action locally to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on the challenges women and girls face.”

Community members are invited to attend the event, which starts at noon Friday in front of Barrie’s city hall.

The shelter is inviting people to stand in solidarity with women and speak out against gender-based violence on this day.

All of this is a part of the Woman and Children’s Shelter’s Wrapped in Courage Campaign, which runs throughout November.

The annual awareness event is focused on showing women in the southern Ontario community who are trying to leave an abusive situation that they have support.

“We really want to inform the community that while we support the courage of women to leave abusive relationships, the courage of a woman is not enough. We need the support of the community. We need the community to be aware that there are many women and their children who are living in violence,” Teresa MacLennan, executive director of the shelter, told Global News earlier this month.

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