Square puzzle.jpg

How many squares do you see? 

Most can see the obvious sixteen squares. But if you look a little longer you will see that in addition to the sixteen squares, there are nine two-by-two squares, four three-by-three squares, and one large four-by-four square, which brings the total to thirty. It's interesting that the squares were always there but you may not have found them until you looked harder..

So what does this puzzle have to do with violence prevention? 

I've been giving a lot of thought over the last few days, to the tragic deaths of Ajax residents, Krassimira Pejcinovski and her two teenage children.

Since the beginning of 2018, eight females in the GTA have allegedly been killed by a man they were in a relationship with. I'm haunted by the thought of another woman's life being snuffed out and like many of you, wonder what it will take to make it stop. 

Violence prevention is like the square puzzle. There's always another square, another possibility, if we just keep looking for it and the clue to "another square, another possibility" may be more obvious than we think.

Farrah Khan, coordinator of Ryerson University's Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, said, "Community members, rather than justice or violence prevention workers, are often best positioned to take meaningful, potentially life-saving action."

"Most survivors don't talk to professionals. They talk to their neighbour, they talk to a friend, they talk to a family member," Khan said. "We have to have the opportunity to build our muscles as a actually intervene and name when these things are happening and connect our friends and loved ones to the supports that they need to survive."

WE are those community members. We are the hidden "square in the puzzle". We have the power and influence to help prevent violence against women and to save lives. We are the David to the domestic violence giant, Goliath. The menacing warrior that was defeated by a shepherd boy,.equipped with nothing more than a sling and some stones.

As a community, we can arm ourselves with stones in the form of information; becoming more aware of warning signs and gathering resources to share. We can observe, listen and believe. We can let our politicians know that there is no excuse for violence against women and that the growing number of domestic homicides is NOT OKAY. We can tell those in political power, that they need to start using their positions of influence to take a stand for the communities for which they have stewardship and responsibility. We are a community that can make all the difference for a woman and her children.

There has never been a better time for the #loveshouldnthurt campaign because it's all about community getting involved. Check out the VPCC website for resources and updates on #lovshouldnthurt

You can also Save-The-Date and join us for a Provincial Candidate's Forum on May 3, 2018 at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, to learn more about what our provincial leaders understand regarding the diverse needs and realities of our communities and how they plan to tackle the issues that are important to women and families living in the Durham Region. 

 #loveshouldnthurt. But. It. Does.

What do you think can be done to end violence against women? #loveshouldnthurt #loveshouldnthurtdurham #davidandgoliath #communitypower #vpccdurham