A range of organizations provide support for female victims of domestic violence including housing, employment and rebound support. A new Canadian organization, One Spark, is providing support to women in a unique way – by providing funding to help victims of violence start their own businesses.
“It’s about giving the women confidence to stand on their own two feet again,” says board member and Queen’s University student Lynden Evers (Artsci’16). “One Spark is trying to address a need, to empower women after leaving an abusive situation.”Lynden Evers wants everyone to light a candle December 6 to remember women who have experienced domestic violence.
The fledgling organization has run a number of events including a golf tournament. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the group is kicked off its One Spark Candle Campaign. The campaign invites all Canadians to light a candle in their front window on Sunday, Dec. 6 to show their support for women who have experienced domestic and other forms of violence. Photos of lit candles can be uploaded to the One Spark Facebook page.
Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, marks the l’École Polytechnique de Montreal massacre when 14 women were murdered by Marc Lépine. He killed them in the name of fighting feminism. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on violence against women.
“We want to show women out there they have our support,” says Mr. Evers, “and we want to shed light on the issue of violence. Just one spark could be enough to change someone’s life.”
On average in Canada, a woman is killed every six days as a result of domestic violence and on any given night there are 3,300 women and 3,000 children staying in a women’s shelter. Mr. Evers was motivated to join the board as his mother works in the field and he wanted to be able to pass One Spark’s message on to friends and colleagues at Queen’s.
“I want to reach a different crowd, a more diverse group,” says Mr. Evers. “Domestic violence is something that affects everyone no matter what race, class, age among other things. We need to raise the awareness.”
Visit the One Spark website for more information.