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Banding Together Against Domestic Violence

Mayor Watts and the RCMP Superintendant, tying Rakhi bracelets on one another, for the Rakhi project.

July 06, 2012

Surrey – The Surrey community spoke out against domestic abuse today with the launch of the annual Rakhi Project, a Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy initiative designed to raise awareness about domestic violence.

During the special ceremony at City Hall, women tied purple bracelets on the wrists of prominent men in the community to signify support for eradicating domestic abuse. Rakhi is a traditional Indian ceremony honouring the relationship between brothers and sisters and involves the tying of a Rakhi ribbon by a sister on her brother’s wrist as a symbol of love and respect.

“The Project is about taking a visible and unified approach to raising awareness around the issue of domestic violence, which is a very serious crime that has a devastating effect on families,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “We want to create an environment where women feel safe to come forward and get the help they need.”

“We hope the Rakhi Project will get people talking openly about the issue of domestic violence and help break the cycle of abuse for women and their children, who often witness the violent behaviour,” says Councillor Barinder Rasode, Chair of the Community Safety Committee. “The brothers and men who have the purple bracelets tied on their wrists have vowed to stand up against domestic abuse.”

The braided bracelets designed by local artist Karen Lipsett-Kidd will be sold for $5 each with proceeds going to the City of Surrey’s Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (SCADA). The Project is being spearheaded by the City of Surrey in partnership with DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, RCMP, Omni Television, Save-on-Foods, BC Lions, Fruiticana, and the Province Newspaper.

The bracelets will be sold until August 2nd at Surrey City Hall, select Save-on-Foods locations, Fruiticana, DIVERSEcity, Kwantlen bookstores, Surrey Women’s Centre, and Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS).

Photo Caption: Mayor Watts ties a Rakhi Project ribbon on Officer in Charge Bill Fordy, Surrey RCMP

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604.375.4584