It’s a tragic story that’s been repeated in Muskoka far too many times.
Domestic violence has affected the lives of countless women in the area, emphasized by the fact two young women with ties to Bracebridge have been killed by former partners in the past 10 years alone.
With that in mind, Muskoka-Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services will host the annual One Billion Rising Event this Saturday at the Nipissing University Muskoka campus in Bracebridge.
“Nobody is immune to violence – including people who live in this beautiful part of the world,” says Laurie Lamont of Sexual Assault Services. “Many people don’t know that there are services in our district and that there are agencies that are available to help. The current statistics are one in three women will experience violence in our lifetimes – we all know three women.”
Hosting the event at Nipissing brings an added poignancy to the issue, as one of its students, 26-year-old Lindsay Wilson, was killed by an ex-boyfriend in Bracebridge in 2013.
“The students and staff were left with a void, confusion, sadness and trauma following the event, which happened right at the end of the school semester,” says Lamont. “Many of those students returned the following year and wanted to make a difference. It’s helped many of them cope with this.”
In 2006, 20-year-old former Bracebridge resident Natalie Novak was murdered in Toronto by an ex-boyfriend who was under a restraining order at the time. Natalie’s mother Dawn will be in the Nipissing Lecture Hall on Feb. 4 at 3:30 pm to discuss gender-based violence and her experiences with the legal system.
Saturday’s event will include musicians Tobin Spring, Gina Horswood, Cassandra Cutting and Christine Heron performing as part of a coffee house evening. The Bracebridge School of Ballet will have over 20 dancers performing and speakers from Muskoka Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services, Muskoka Victim Services and students from Nipissing will address the audience as well.
“We’ll continue to rise,” says Lamont. “We’ll rise to show we’re determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it’s unthinkable.”
Those with story ideas or comments for Bracebridge Today can e-mail Matt Driscoll at firstname.lastname@example.org