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Questions and answers about


Sponsored by

Purple Ribbon Campaign Advisory Committee 
(Transition House Association of Nova Scotia)

Why is there a Purple Ribbon Campaign?
The purpose of the Purple Ribbon Campaign is:
- to remember the fourteen women who died in Montreal on December 6, 1989;
- to remember all women who have died violently and the many thousands who continue to live with abuse;
- to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of violence against women;
- to raise funds to continue work against violence against women.

When did the Purple Ribbon Campaign begin?
The Purple Ribbon Campaign was initiated in 1990 by the Women's Action Coalition of Nova Scotia.

Who organizes the Purple Ribbon Campaign?
The Purple Ribbon Campaign is now a project of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (902) 429-7287 with support from a community based Advisory Committee. Many persons across the province volunteer their time to ensure wide distribution of ribbons. Each year the campaign is growing, with ever increasing numbers of women, men and youth selling and wearing ribbons.

Is the Purple Ribbon Campaign Canada wide?
The Purple Ribbon Campaign is unique to Nova Scotia.

Why December 06?
December 06, 1989 was the day fourteen young women were murdered at Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal. In 1991, December 06 was declared a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women by the Government of Canada.

Why the colour purple?
Purple has long been the colour of the women's movement, beginning with the suffragettes and is a symbol of pain and suffering.

During what time period do we wear the purple ribbon? November 25 to December 10.

Why November 25 to December 10?
Between November 25 and December 10 women's groups around the world will organize public events and actions as part of the international campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. November 25 is the International Day Against Violence Against Women, declared by the first feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean in Bogota, Colombia in 1981. December 06 is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and December 10 celebrates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed in 1948.

Who gets the proceeds from the sale of ribbons?
Proceeds are distributed to all THANS member agencies, Avalon Centre (services for survivors of sexual assault) and Nova Scotia's Women Centres. Abuse goes far beyond what women experience in an intimate relationship and includes inaccurate portrayal of women historically, laws and interpretation of laws which discriminate and disadvantage women, an education system which does not always serve young women well, work place discrimination and sexual harassment, inequality of rights and opportunities, etc., etc. The decision on who would be the beneficiaries of campaign proceeds was a recognition of these facts; a recognition that work must be carried out on many fronts if we are to stop violence against women.

Should men wear a purple ribbon?
Yes. The wearing of a purple ribbon is an opportunity for men, as well as women, to remember and acknowledge violence against women and to support the work against violence against women.

What about the White Ribbon Campaign?
The White Ribbon Campaign was developed by a group of men in Canada in response to the Montreal Massacre. While it was originally designed as an invitation for men to wear a ribbon and take a stand, the campaign is gaining support internationally from both men and women and is recognized and promoted by UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) in 25 countries around the world.  The symbolism of the white ribbon is an acknowledgment of men's accountability for violence against women. The white ribbon can be worn by anyone who seeks the end of violence against women.  The White Ribbon Campaign also has distribution in Nova Scotia and we invite folks who choose to wear a white ribbon to also purchase and wear a purple ribbon as well. More about the White Ribbon Campaign


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