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 A Salt Spring Island campaign taking place with the aim to address stereotypes and silence regarding crime and victims of crime in our community.  SWOVA’s Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project secured the funding from the Federal Ministry of Justice to run the campaign as part of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week April 6-12, 2014.

We wanted to do something that would be meaningful in our community.  Our goal was to provide accessible information that would generate thought provoking discussion and awareness.  Although we enjoy a high degree of perceived safety here on SSI, crime does affect our community in profound ways. Particularly disturbing are the disproportionate number of children, youth and women who are victims of crime as a result of family violence, sexual abuse and elder abuse.  The first level of support for many victims of crime is family and friends.  We wanted to illuminate that as well as the resources that are available in our community.

The collective (SWOVA, IWAV, Connecting Generations) has put together three initiatives which will take place over the week.  Firstly, a thought provoking public media campaign aimed to generate community awareness, dialogue and education regarding victims of crime in our community.  Secondly a youth led social media campaign.  The Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project have developed an online contest.  Gift Certificates valued at $50 each for local businesses including (Country Grocer, Uptown Pizza, Barb’s Buns, Treehouse and SS Roasting Company) will be awarded to those who get the most “shares” and “likes” for promoting the information/education materials we have produced.  Anyone can participate in the contest.  Check out the Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ssglp) for contest rules.  Thirdly, a Resource Fair will be held in the Gazebo at Centennial Park on Saturday, April 12.  Virtually all of the on island organizations that provide resources and supports to victims of crime and their families will be there.  SSGLP members will be conducting a brief needs assessment, asking islanders what is working on the island, as well as what is missing in our community.  Treats will be provided courtesy of Country Grocer!  Everyone is invited.

The Yes it Happens Here campaign is a collective effort.  Led by SWOVA’s Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project, another great program from SWOVA – Empowering Youth for a Better Tomorrow partnered with IWAV (Island Women Against Violence) and Connecting Generations to make this all happen.  Support provided through a grant from the Department of Justice Canada.


Andria Scanlan – Coordinator, Salish Sea Girls’ Leadership Project



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