2015 Rakhi Project: Banding together against domestic abuse

Surrey RCMP Inspector Dave Attfield, VanCity Newton Community Branch Manager Rup Sumal, and City of Surrey Councillor Mary Martin.

THE 5th annual Rakhi Project launched at the Vancity Credit Union in Newton on Wednesday where communities came together to speak out against domestic abuse. The 2015 Rakhi Project, running from July 15 to August 29, is designed to raise awareness about domestic abuse. The Surrey RCMP is a partner of this City of Surrey initiative.

“Domestic abuse spans across all cultures, and this initiative is part of a multi-faceted approach the City of Surrey has undertaken to foster an ongoing dialogue around the issue of domestic violence in our community,” said Mayor Linda Hepner.

This year’s campaign focuses on the significant role that first responders play when answering domestic abuse incidents; often providing time-sensitive, critical, on-scene support for both victims and their children.

“Domestic abuse is something our officers unfortunately see far too often. It is a complex issue that requires police, government and community to come together to stop the violence,” said Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Officer-in-Charge of the Surrey RCMP. “We are proud to support the Rakhi Project and the role it plays in involving the local community in this important issue.”

Rakhi is a traditional South Asian ceremony that involves the tying of a rakhi (thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist as a symbol of love, protection and respect. The Rakhi Project is a unique campaign that blends this tradition with domestic abuse awareness by encouraging people to wear a purple bracelet to show the role we all play in protecting one another.

The 2015 Rakhi bracelet was designed by artist Karen Lipsett-Kidd and includes a rose quartz bead that symbolizes peace and love. The purple bracelets were handcrafted by the Sambhali Trust in India are being sold for $5 each with proceeds going to the City of Surrey’s Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (SCADA).

Bracelets are available until August 29 at select Save-on-Foods, Fruiticana, Surrey RCMP offices, DiverseCity Community Resources Society, select Vancity Credit Union locations, Crystalworks and Take Five Café at Surrey City Hall.

The Rakhi Project is spearheaded by the City of Surrey in partnership with the Surrey RCMP, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, OMNI Television, Vancity Credit Union, Fruiticana, Save-on-Foods group, Glen Chua Media, the Sambhali Trust, Crystalworks, Ending Violence Association of BC and the BC Lions.