Burlington Purple Bench to honour those suffering from domestic violence


Published November 10, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Burlington purple bench

Burlington unveiled its first Purple Bench Thursday afternoon, a testament to the courage of all women experiencing abuse at the hands of their partners and as a “show of support” to efforts to end domestic violence.

“We as a Council are united in our support,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “This new Purple Bench initiated by Halton Women’s Place, at the west lawn lookout point in Spencer Smith Park, is a physical reminder and show of solidarity and support from our Burlington community to all those who experience domestic violence of all kinds.”

“It’s also a reminder that there is support and help out there from community organizations like Halton Women’s Place and I want to thank them for the exceptional and important work they do.”

Halton Women’s Place, with its partners Halton Regional Police and the City of Burlington, unveiled the bench, part of the ‘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 two years ago when a purple bench was placed at Dominion Garden Park in Georgetown in memory of Darian Henderson-Bellman, who was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2020.

Oakville received a bench Wednesday, Acton, Milton and Burlington unveiled their Purple Benches Thursday.

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