November was proclaimed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month by Portage la Prairie Mayor Sharilyn Knox at City Hall at the beginning of the month.

Tara Hayes and Victoria Rey from Prairie Harbour Inc. joined Mayor Knox and City Councillor Colin Doyle for the proclamation.

"Having the opportunity to meet with Mayor Knox just reconfirmed the fact that the city is supportive, and that she, as a person, is supportive of what we do," says Hayes. "It was just really validating and rewarding to know that we are being supported by our community leaders."

With Prairie Harbour undergoing a recent change, formerly known as the women's shelter, Hayes wants the community to know they are still here for support.

"Now that we've changed names to Prairie Harbour, some people don't associate us being a women's shelter still, so hopefully this allows the community to remember that we're still here and there's still support. We're still operating as a safe place for gender-based violence."

Domestic Violence often can carry a stigma when it comes to people asking for help, notes Hayes.

"Don't say things like, 'How could she?' Or 'I would never allow that to happen to me.' Because until you step in those shoes, you really don't know what you would do. So, I think having open conversations about it and being supportive helps."

Hayes adds that Prairie Harbour is continuously looking for donations of non-perishable items, household items and seasonal clothing for women and children.

According to Shared Health Manitoba,  Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to promote awareness of the services and resources available to individuals in need of support - or medical attention - due to an experience involving intimate partner violence. 

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, PortageOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the PortageOnline app.