By Jim Morrison
The West Island Women’s Shelter (WIWS) are presenting a pair of bilingual conferences, 12 Days of Action to End Violence Towards Women, open and free to all, in learning more about conjugal violence and its issues.
“In response to the increase of calls we are getting from the entourage of victims, where many people are feeling lost, in dealing with the situation of conjugal violence happening to a friend, family member, co-worker, or employee, WIWS have taken on the lead of conducting these conferences,” said Diane Gibb, director of Development and Fundraising.
Three speakers for two conferences will focus on issues of concern.
A WIWS counsellor will address how a person recognizes and understands a couple’s quarrel or conjugal violence.
A specialist in family law will focus on how a mother can protect her children, with rights, in case of separation or divorce as a consequence of conjugal violence.
A resource person for interfamily conjugal violence from Station 3 will educate that domestic violence is criminal. What acts are recognized as being criminal? What is required as proof? What to know and how to go about making a complaint?
“There are so many cases being brought to the public eye by the media that makes people more aware of conjugal violence and spurs them onto wanting to help in eliminating it from society,” added Gibb.
The French edition of the conference is Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Robert Sauve Park, 15734 de la Caserne, Ste. Geneviève. The English version is Dec. 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Pierrefonds Cultural Centre, 13850 Gouin West, Pierrefonds.
“The aim of these conferences is to help demystify issues related to conjugal violence. By presenting the Twelve Days of Action to End Violence Toward Women, we hope to open a much needed dialogue about the violence women and children are subjected to in these interfamilial situations.
“Through these conferences, we hope to extend a helping hand to women who are victims as well as to family members, friends, or colleagues who wish to support them. Our hope is that the information presented will encourage those in need to reach out to us,” Hélène Harvey, president of the Board of Directors of WIWS told The Suburban.
WIWS has launched word for their Gala of Pearls fundraising and charity ball to take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the Château Vaudreuil Pavilion.
Since 1979, the West Island Women’s Shelter offers a free, confidential and safe haven to women and their children who are victims of conjugal violence.
More information on WIWS is available at westislandwomensshelter.org or by calling  620-4845