Acton’s Purple Bench a testament to those touched by intimate partner violence


Published November 9, 2023 at 4:25 pm

acton purple bench

Acton has its first Purple Bench, with the unveiling of the bench – a testament to those dealing with intimate partner and domestic violence – happening today at Prospect Park.

The Purple Benches are part of ‘Barb’s Bench Project’, which began in Nova Scotia to honour Barbara Baillie, who was strangled to death by her husband of 25 years in Spryfield, Nova Scotia in 1990.

The tragedy shook the lives of the community and led to the creation of the Bench Project, with purple benches – park benches were Baillie’s sanctuary from the constant abuse – placed throughout Nova Scotia. Each bench bore a commemorative plaque with information on how to get help when experiencing domestic violence.

The project eventually spread to other parts of Canada and Halton received its first bench December 6, 2021 when a purple bench was placed at Dominion Garden Park in Georgetown on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Georgetown’s bench was in memory of Darian Henderson-Bellman, who was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2020.

(December 6 is a day that honours the memory of the 14 women who were murdered at Ecole Polytechnic in Montreal simply because they were women in a violent act fueled by hatred and misogyny.)

Oakville received a bench Wednesday and Halton’s Woman’s Place, which has shelters in Milton and Burlington, and Acton and Milton unveiled their Purple Benches Thursday.

Burlington is expected get a commemorative bench Friday.

November is Women Abuse Prevention Month.

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