Just two days before International Women’s Day, a group of Niagara College students will be wearing their support for women their sleeves – or, more specifically, bound to their wrists.
Seven students from the Child and Youth Care Services program are raising awareness and funds for women through a Bound for Change initiative on March 6. The initiative is being held in support of Nova House. The Niagara-Falls based site, run by Women’s Place of South Niagara, provides shelter and services for women and children who are experiencing abuse.
The students will bind purple ribbons to their wrists for 12 hours that day – an act intended to be symbolic of the hardship women go through in an abusive relationship. The colour purple is a predominant colour in the women’s movement and is a symbol of promoting the awareness (and prevention of) of domestic violence.
When they are not in class, the students will be in the Applied Health Institute foyer (Welland Campus), collecting donations as well as handing out purple ribbons and distributing information to passers-by.
Organizer Samantha Davis knows that it will be challenging have her wrists bound together from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. – through her classes and daily activities – but she feels the act is vital to their message.
“It’s important for people to see it,” she said.
For Davis, the motivation to support Nova House is close to her heart. “I used to live at Nova House with my daughter about four years ago,” she said. “I know how the support and the different services they provide is so important for women. Without them, I never would have had the support I needed.”
While personal for Davis, she notes that launching the initiative has been a team effort with six of her classmates – Chelsea Williamson, Krista Bird, Olivia Allen, Kaylee MacKay, Rachelle Goulet and Lindsay Mathewson. Developing and completing a fundraising activity is part of their first-year Group Dynamics class. All fundraising activities are approved by their professor, Walt Goffin.
The fact that this event will take place just before International Women’s Day on March 8 is intentional. “We timed it as close as we could get to Women’s Day, considering our class schedules,” Davis said.
Amanda Braet, development director for Women’s Place of South Niagara, applauded the students’ efforts.
“Women’s Place is thankful for the support of the Niagara College students who have organized the initiative, Bound for Change,” she said. “This is an excellent opportunity to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence and highlight the services that Women’s Place offers to help community members rebuild their lives free from violence and abuse.”
The students plan to be in the AHI from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Donations may also be made online on the Women’s Place website www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/womens-place-of-south-niagara-inc