woman abuse is a crime…

Just in case you didn’t already know this, woman abuse is a crime.

Yeah…I was pretty surprised too.

Who would have thunk it?

This billboard left an indelible mark in my poor brain as I drove into the community of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The town that became famous because our national hero, Terry Fox, ended his cross-Canada run here before succumbing to cancer.

But back to the sign – I’ve never seen one like this before.

On any given day, I see the usual air-brushed ‘slender-ella’s’ selling a product using their sexual wiles or the politicians with their mug shots plastered across the billboard, attempting to generate an image of trustworthiness and intelligence…or something like that. Rarely do I see a sign that isn’t trying to weasel me out of my money or trying to buy my vote.

The message in itself makes me stand up and pay attention.

It’s a sad day when we need billboards to remind the general public that abuse, in any form, is a crime.

Obviously, it is a serious enough issue in Thunder Bay to warrant such billboards shouting out the reminder – not to mention the formation of a committee, The Committee to End Woman Abuse.  Great website.

What needs reminding, I believe, is that the problem is not localized to just Thunder Bay.

…oh no, it is on a global scale.

In Spain alone, domestic violence is rampant – at least one woman per week dies at the hands of her partner. I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet, but a friend of mine told me how thousands of Spanish women dressed themselves up in a pristine white wedding dress and then splattered themselves in red blood or paint, protesting against domestic abuse.  That would be a sight to behold, I am sure.  Not one that could be easily forgotten.

What I did find on the internet, however, is a protest march with women in wedding veils, protesting domestic violence in the Bronx, USA.  And another one in Milwaukee.  It is called the Annual Bride’s Walk in honour of a young woman who was murdered by her partner about a decade ago.

And then, of course, there is the country that allows the husband to have his wife killed – or stoned to death.  No countries need be named.  You know what I’m talking about.

Well…I’m not an expert on any of this and I don’t know what I can say.  In this case, I suspect that actions speak louder than words do.

So other than ignoring the problem, what can we do to help?