The theme for the Anti-Violence Advocates Society’s annual fundraiser has been announced.
On Saturday, March 9, 2019 (the day after International Women’s Day), the women of Barriere will gather at the Lions Club for a 1950s-style sock hop ladies night fundraiser.
Barb Gordon, a director with the society, said, “People come out in full costume every year,” so they like to announce the theme early to give plenty of time for ladies to plan their 1950s getup.
Sorry gentleman, this event is for ladies only.
The Anti-Violence Advocates Society works with schools in Barriere to support an education program for Grades 7, 8, 9 and 10.
The four-year program, now heading into its third year, educates kids about stopping bullying, talks about signs of dating violence, empowers them with tools to get out of a violent or abusive relationship and teaches them what to do if one is in their home, all while building their self-esteem.
“The next step is to work on that with politicians and try and get it in every school.”
Gordon said the Advocates Society is “very passionate.” All of its members, including her, come from a background of violence or abuse.
They understand the situation and know what they’re talking about.
“If we’re going to stop abuse in all aspects, we have to start educating,” she said.
Grades 7 through 10 are typically when kids start dating, getting into relationships or at least thinking about it, and Gordon said it’s important to start them on a healthy path.
She said the feedback they’ve gotten from the kids is that they want more mental health support for depression, anxiety, etc.
“We’ve had a couple evaluations come back where kids have said they were in the abusive relationship and this gave them the tools to end it.”
Gordon aspires to continue growing the program and educating kids in order to stop abuse at the root, or in some cases, break the cycle.
“It feels very rewarding,” she said. “The topics that are covered in this program, I wish had been around when I was young. I could have avoided everything had I known, had I had some information, had I had a place to go to talk about it. But of course, when I was growing up, if you saw someone with a bruise, you didn’t ask, you didn’t talk about it.”