PrintbSurrey: The City of Surrey continued to build community awareness around the issue of domestic abuse through its 2014 Rakhi Project, a Crime Reduction Strategy initiative with a ‘freeze mob’ which took place today at the New City hall. This unique public demonstration served to kick off an eight week awareness campaign designed to raise awareness about domestic abuse.

During the event at Surrey City Hall, afreeze mob participants held signs reading “love & respect” or “take a stand” while posed in static postures, creating a buzz of interest on the issue.

Councillor Villeneuve was the acting Mayor during the event. She said that Rakhi is symbol of love and respect and this project is cabout creating awareness domestic abuse which is still present in our community and effecting families continuously.

”For four years, the Rakhi Project’s unique emphasis on shared respect for family values  has brought attention to the urgent issue of domestic abuse in our communities,” said Councillor Barinder Rasode, Chair of the Community Safety Committee.  “By wearing the purple bracelets on their wrists, brothers and men are vowing to take a stand with their sisters against domestic abuse.”

Rakhi is a special occasion observed in India which honours the relationship between brothers and sisters. It involves the tying of a rakhi (thread/bracelet) by a sister on her brother’s wrist as a symbol of the love and respect between them. Brothers wearing the Rakhi Project purple bracelet show that they stand with their sisters against domestic abuse.

The braided purple bracelets will be sold for $5 each with proceeds going to the City of Surrey’s Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (SCADA).

Bracelets will be sold from June 17th to August 10th at select Save-on-Foods locations, Fruiticana, Surrey RCMP, Kwantlen bookstores, KEYS: Housing & Health Solutions, and Surrey Women’s Centre. An exciting new piece of this year’s campaign includes the incorporation of purple umbrellas that symbolize protection and Surrey’s Coalition Against Domestic Abuse’s work in education and raising awareness of the issue.

In a statement release, Mayor Watts said, “Domestic abuse is an issue that continues to have a devastating effect on families. The Rakhi Project encourages a visible and unified approach to the issue and is part of a multi-faceted initiative undertaken by the City of Surrey to raise further awareness. Our goal is to create an environment where women feel safe to come forward and to encourage men to be an active part of the solution.”