November marks eighth annual Wrapped in Courage campaign

November is Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention month in Ontario, a time when women’s shelters use all the tools in their toolbox to increase awareness around abuse against women, how it affects us all and what we can do as a society to end it.

In Kincardine, Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey is using social media and partnering with many local businesses to help raise awareness, foster prevention, and raise funds to help them provide the support that the women and children that reach out to them need to rebuild their lives.

In place of the purple scarves traditionally sold during November, shelters have opted to offer a “Stay Safe” mask to the public. The masks will be sent out for a $20 donation, to “help you Stay Safe while you are joining us to work towards eliminating violence against women, and also helping the women we support to stay safe too,” said Michelle Lamont, from Women’s House, in a media release on Nov. 6.

Donations can be made through a link on the shelter social media page or through the website at

In Kincardine, businesses have been asked to participate by putting displays and information cards in their storefronts, and Grey Matter Beer Company is hosting a special brew release on Nov. 19, with all proceeds directed to Women’s House.

To help end abuse, Women’s House suggests the following actions be adopted:

Educate yourself on violence against women; learn the facts and the prevalence.

Believe survivors.

Speak out against all forms of violence.

Don’t blame victims, and reinforce that abuse is never the victim’s fault.

Learn about power and control tactics.

Advocate for victim’s rights.

Be courageous; don’t be afraid to speak up for those who have lost their voice or dignity.

Praise women and girls for something other than the way they look.

Applaud others who speak out against violence and oppression.

Pledge to never commit or condone acts of violence.

Make a decision to become an active bystander by speaking up and calling for help when necessary.

Hold perpetrators accountable for disrespecting their partners when you see it or hear it.

Engage others in discussions about violence against women.

In Owen Sound, the Women’s Centre Grey Bruce has chosen to sell masks as well – in part because of shipping issues and because pandemic restrictions have made it very difficult to sell the scarves as they have in past years. The shelter also has events organized to promote the month and generate awareness.

“We have a variety of activities planned to help raise awareness around Woman Abuse Prevention Month, including social media blasts and a flag raising ceremony denouncing violence against women, hosted by the Zonta Club of Owen Sound on Nov. 25,” said Carrie Stevenson, fund development and communications manager for Women’s Centre Grey Bruce. “As part of the annual Wrapped in Courage campaign, $20 face masks are available for the community to show their solidarity with women who are impacted by domestic violence. Last year, campaign funds helped us provide services to more than 1,500 women and children who were fleeing abuse. With the incidence of domestic abuse rising throughout the pandemic, we expect that more women will need our services this year, making the community’s support even more vital than usual.”

Masks are available by emailing [email protected]. Donations of $5-$25 can be made by texting COURAGE to 41010. Donations will be shared equally across participating women’s shelter.

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The Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses states that in 2019, an Ontario woman or child was killed every 11 days by a man known to them and that one in three women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. The courage of a woman alone is not enough and it takes the strength of an entire community to end violence against women. Women and children in Grey Bruce need your support.

2-1-1 is a 24/7 multilingual helpline to find services in your community. In the case of an emergency, immediately call 911.

Women’s House Serving Grey Bruce can be reached at 519-396-9814 or toll free at 1-800-265-3026. Call the sexual assault support line at 1-866-578-5566.