The London Abused Women’s Centre kicked-off their 6th annual Shine the light campaign with the lighting of the tree.
A big crowed cheered as Mayor Matt Brown pushed the button, and purple lights illuminated the tree.
The campaign is meant to shine a light on women abuse.
The event had many speakers, such as one of the faces of the campaign: Lenka Kriz.
She is an abuse survivor that says, there is hope, and it takes courage to look for help or speak up.
“Life can be so much better…” said Kriz, encouraging women to seek for help if they find themselves in her position. “I can’t explain explain how many times I sat there and cried thinking how horrible it was,” she continued, “The amount of freedom, the amount of happiness, and how friends and loved ones and things you can experience outside of that.”
Mayor Matt Brown was excited to participate at the event and said, “Violence against women is happening a in our community. These can be, perhaps, difficult conversations for some to have [but] these are conversations we need to have as a community.”
London Police Deputy Chief Daryl Longworth took part in the event as a speaker.
He begun with a speech about how first responders get to see the reality of women abuse.
He said, “There are supports in place: police services, women’s shelters, and many, many, many other services in this community.” He continued saying, “There is help available. Women who are suffering don’t have to do so in isolation. There’s is help out there, they just need to reach out.”
Longworth finished his speech saying that everyone needs to inform themselves about the services available, so when something happens to someone they know, they know where to refer them.
In front of the tree, 114 pairs of shoes were hanged as the representation of all the woman that had died in hands of their abusive partners across Canada.