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Unique Community Initiative Raises Awareness Around Domestic Abuse

July 18, 2011

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

“It will take a strong, unified and persistent voice to eradicate domestic violence,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “The City of Surrey has been taking a multi-faceted approach to combating the problem, and the Rakhi Project is our latest initiative. By wearing the purple bracelet you are speaking out against domestic abuse and showing your support for loving, respectful families.”

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 Rakhi Project blends this traditional event with the issue of domestic abuse.

“This awareness campaign is not only about highlighting an important issue that unfortunately exists in every community, it’s about inclusion. We want to highlight a South Asian tradition and introduce it into the broader community,” says Councillor Barinder Rasode. “We have more in common than we realize, and our shared respect for family values is one example of that commonality.” Rasode is the Chair of the City of Surrey’s Crime Reduction Strategy Working Group and has organized multiple domestic violence forums in the city.

The Rakhi Project is being spearheaded by the City of Surrey in partnership with DiverseCITY Community Resources Society, RCMP, Save-on-Foods and Omni Television.

5,000 purple braided bracelets will be sold for $5 each and will be available in select Save-on Foods locations, Fruiticana and Surrey City Hall. Proceeds will go to the City of Surrey’s Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (SCADA), an initiative within the Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy.

SCADA is a committee comprised of agencies and individuals working in the field of domestic violence. In order to better meet the needs of citizens who are facing domestic abuse, the group collaborates and disseminates info on new techniques, practices and services available. The next SCADA conference is scheduled for Tuesday November 8th, 2011 at Kwantlen University in Surrey.

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor