Every year, London goes purple in November to shine the light on women’s abuse. This year the campaign spread to Australia and Sweden and trended nationwide on Twitter. This kind of recognition follows after Prime Minister Trudeau endorsed the campaign last year, the project’s success has only continued to soar since the London Abused Women’s Centre launched it in 2010.
This year’s campaign shined the light on Ashley Desjardine, a survivor who came forward two years ago after finding herself in an abusive relationship. She began her journey to recovery by calling the assaulted women’s helpline that referred her to the London Abused Women’s Centre. “I called one night, I was here the very next day which was fantastic, I didn’t have to wait to speak to anyone.” Desjardine quickly began the healing process and says that the centre helped her by providing her a safe space where she could be heard and believed.
When asked what it meant to Desjardine to be honoured this year she says “It’s been incredible… it’s a huge honour to be in this position and it reminds me of how far I’ve come as well, because I never thought I’d be so comfortable and so safe sharing my story and I think that’s important. I now realize more than ever after being a part of shine the light that it’s so important to do so because there’s so many who can’t, who are silenced…”
The London Abused Women’s Centre raises awareness about women’s abuse all year round. In December they have a Christmas program where they ask for donations and women can stop by the centre to pick up household items, toys and other things that they or their children may want or need over the holidays. The centre also holds an International Women’s Day breakfast in the spring that they hope will bring out over 700 supporters. In the summer they will also partner with the London Majors to host their purple baseball game.