The Cobourg Police Service, Northumberland Paramedics, Town of Cobourg Fire Department and Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre have partnered in an awareness campaign #SheCouldBe.
Encouraging awareness and dialogue about the prevalence and impacts of domestic violence is important for creating the conditions that empower people to leave abusive relationships. The goal of the #SheCouldBe campaign is to educate the community and hopefully start that conversation. There is a perception in small towns, like those that comprise Northumberland County, that domestic violence is more of an issue in urban areas. Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre Executive Director, Nancy Johnston says that is far from the truth.
“Despite the fact more than 2,600 individual women, children and youth received support from Cornerstone last year, 142 women and children were not able to be supported through the shelter due to lack of space and funding,” says Cornerstone Executive Director, Nancy Johnston. “Family violence is a real issue happening right here in Northumberland County. We cannot act otherwise. We need to come together to create solutions to this pressing issue and this campaign is a perfect way to highlight the realities and educate the community to get these conversations started.”
First responders are sometimes the first face victims of domestic violence see when they need medical attention or assistance in leaving. Northumberland first responders hold unsettling stories they’ve had to witness, and they know first-hand it happens everywhere and could happen to anyone. They’re ambassadors for helping Cornerstone end domestic violence, and this is why they’re the face of the campaign.
Deputy Chief of Cobourg Police Service, Paul VandeGraaf explains, “In the last year we’ve received 129 calls of domestic violence and we work closely with victims to ensure they get the help they need from Cornerstone. We all have a role in ending domestic violence and I feel, as a first responder, we need to educate more and bring more awareness to this issue.”
#SheCouldBe your neighbour, your mother, your sister, your friend, or your colleague. Domestic violence does not discriminate.
Jay Robinson, owner of local business Project Lola, was the photographer and designer that helped bring this campaign to life. Jay has been a supporter of Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre for the last six years and his contribution to this campaign has been key.
This campaign will be seen all over the Town of Cobourg, inclusive of a QR Code for anyone who wishes to learn more or reach out for help. This campaign will also be seen on social media and we welcome people to share it and spread the education and awareness.