A group of survivors gathered in a small conference room in City Hall on Thursday afternoon to show their support for the National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week hosted by The Men’s Trauma Centre in collaboration with PEERS Victoria Resource Society and Restorative Justice.
The event aimed to bring together the community, organizations and survivors, to remember those affect by crime. There was a special importance put on to victims of sexual assault crimes, as the crowd of about 20 people heard that while there’s been a decrease in violent crimes, there has been an increase in sexual assaults.
One of the main messages coming out of the day’s event was to believe victims and survivors. Those dealing with the trauma that comes from violence in their past have to face stigma, shame and isolation which many of the organizations in the room aim to combat.
Patrick Hopps, a program facilitator at the Victoria Native Friendship Society, shared his story of being sexually abused numerous time while he was younger.
“Each time I talk about it, I’m letting it go,” said Hopps. “I’m letting the creator have it.”
While the number of empty chairs in the room mirrored that of the full ones, a murmur of those who were meant to be there were present was going through the room.
The event wrapped up with a minute of silence to remember the victims and survivors of violence while attendees placed flowers in a vase placed at the front of the room.
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