THE WEEK — May 9: A fashionable way to stop violence

Women in Need offers a fashionable way to stop violence, oily messages not so slick, dragon boats paddle on

Fashion will be the draw for Women In Need to talk about and fundraise for domestic violence prevention programs.

A fashionable way to stop violence

It’s never easy to start over.

That’s the sentiment one Victoria organization is intimately aware of, especially when it comes to escaping domestic violence and abuse. It’s also the driving force behind the upcoming Victoria Women In Need (WIN) annual fundraiser, Fashion with Passion, on Sat., May 11.

Now in its fifth year, the event will benefit the 100 Women Campaign, with a goal to generate enough funds for 100 women to participate in the new Self Sufficiency and Transformations Programs that WIN began offering on April 15.

“Women in these programs will be able to experience one-on-one support to move forward toward making positive choices in their lives,” says Clare Yazganoglu, WIN executive director. “They are not Band-Aid solutions, but long-lasting, and women learn that they matter.”

Transformations is an eight-day educational program that offers women the opportunity to learn effective communication skills, personal boundaries and new approaches to relationships and wellness in their lives. Sixteen women participated in the first run, which was developed in collaboration with Gabriola Island’s The Haven Centre for Growth, and WIN hopes to run a second program in the fall. The expanded Self Sufficiency Program offers one-on-one support, practical training and financial assistance to women to assist in achieving self-sufficiency goals.

“We created the programs to meet the needs of women in Victoria. Being able to work with women in this enduring and transformative way is truly rewarding, and something we have been working towards for many years,” says Yazganoglu, who adds community support is responsible for the more than 1,000 women per year WIN has supported to move out of crisis for the last 20 years.

The fashion show, which includes outfits designed straight from the WIN stores and local fashion sponsors, is put on by ma-luxe & The Studio Collective. Community models will include Victoria personalities and auction items will be available throughout the event: getaways, gift baskets, beauty care, jewelry, clothing, retail gift certificates and WIN vintage items.

Attend the show Sat., May 11, 6:30-11pm at BMW Victoria (95 Esquimalt). Tickets are $80 and include “pink carpet” entry, fashion show, dinner by Food for Thought Catering, live music by Carpe Diem and a swag bag filled with goodies. Purchase tickets at winfashionwithpassion.com.

Oily messages not so slick

Before you let your provincial vote be swayed by the burning questions in this week’s feature story, take note that one group is especially keen for voters to ask the hard stuff — and get cozy with sending letters to your politician of choice.

Tanker Free BC is asking voters to send emails to all premier candidates to express concern about Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion plans in B.C. before it’s a done deal. The direct-link email, which can be found pre-written on the group’s site or can be personally edited, urges the candidates to say no to tanker traffic and yes to “supernatural B.C.”

Sign on yourself at: tankerfreebc.ca/email.

Dragon boats paddle on

A final call for all novice and experienced paddlers interested in joining the second-annual LIV Your Life Project dragon boat race to fund menstrual kits for girls in Malawi, Africa.

Organizer Kyla Plaxton put out the call for participants in March, and already 160 people have filled eight of the 10 boats with community members, school groups and organizations from Island Sexual Health and Women In Need to GoodLife Fitness. Plaxton’s goal this year is to raise $40,000 through personal fundraising, prizes and the race on Sat., May 11 9am-1pm at Selkirk Waterway (2940 Jutland). Race day will also see a booth from Wannawafel,  a kids corner, spoken word and hip-hop performances and a silent auction. Race registration 8-9am, $5.  “Come and be together and support our girls around the world,” says Plaxton.

To join, contact Plaxton: 250-885-0566, livyourlifevolunteer@gmail. More: ilovemyperiod.com. M

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