An unprecedented amount of donations and service calls came into the London Abused Women’s Centre during this year’s Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign.
Officials celebrated the results of the 9th edition of the campaign during a wrap-up event on Friday.
People, businesses, and community groups in London and across the globe went purple this month to raise awareness of men’s violence against women.
Though it’s technically an awareness campaign, the centre received more than $128,509.00 in donations and sponsorships during the six-week time period between the campaign media launch on October 19, to the campaign wrap-up Friday.
The centre also received an unprecedented amount of service calls.
“In that six-week period, we received 938 calls for help from abused women and girls,” said Fabienne Haller, the centre’s fund development co-ordinator. “This is an increase in service demand that we’ve never seen before.”
The centre has a mandate to provide services to every woman and girl within one week of contacting the agency.
“At the time, we didn’t know how we could continue to do this until the results came in from this year’s campaign, and we are now able to hire two new staff members and we can ensure that we are able to address the growing need for counselling for abused women and girls,” Haller said.
While Haller believes part of the increase is due to women feeling more empowered to reach out for help, she also notes Canada is seeing an increase in violence against women.
“When we look at the Canada-wide numbers and how many femicides we’ve had already this year, which is 130 just for 2018 and we haven’t even finished the year, it is undeniably an increase in violence against women,” she said. “It’s at a crisis level, and at this point, we need all levels of government to stand up, and we demand that they take action.”
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