November is Family Violence Prevention month and as part of that Community Links is aiming to debunk the myths surrounding family violence through the Light the Night event. Karen Lazaruk, Light the Night organizer, said the biggest myth the organization is hoping to put a stop to is that family violence isn’t a big deal.
“Some people think someone isn’t really all that hurt unless they’re broken or bleeding,” she said. “Family violence includes emotional abuse…and letting people know that emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse is something that we need to talk about.”
Airdrie residents are invited to Light the Night at Community Links on Main Street on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. The night will include speakers, live entertainment and a vigil walk, hopefully ending at City Hall, which will be lit up in purple to support Family Violence Month.
“We don’t always make it down that far because it might be too cold but even if it’s too cold we’re still going to stand on the corner by the Salvation Army and wave at cars and have fun signs, stuff like that,” Lazaruk said.
Working in the treatment department, Lazaruk works firsthand with those who have been mandated for treatment for family violence. This, she said, is where the idea of debunking family violence myths came from.
“We hear a lot of victim blaming…well if she hadn’t done this, or if he hadn’t done that,” Lazaruk said. “So we just felt as a community that it was important to try to debunk those myths.”
Lazaruk encourages those who can, to make it out to the event in order to raise awareness of the prevalence of family violence in Airdrie.
“We need to be there to show them that we care about them and to let them know that there are programs and services,” she said. “There are people that care and there are people that will help them.”
For more information on the Light the Night, visit nrvcl.ab.ca or follow on Twitter Community Links for more updates.