More than six years after losing her co-worker Stephanie Cormier-Chaisson to violence, Lori Chaffey is stepping up to speak out about ending violence against women.
She joined representatives of the Bay St. George Status of Women Council to hand out purple ribbons on Monday, the first day of 16 days of activism.
Chaffey was in the Cape St. George Medical Clinic when Cormier-Chaisson’s estranged husband came in and shot her, then turned the firearm on himself back on March 26, 2012.
The two had been co-workers for 20 years, so it has been a tough time for Chaffey, but she feels it’s time to be a part of bringing the message to end violence to more people.
“Stephanie was a great person, who loved to sing and dance every day. She was involved in teaching Zumba classes in the community after work. She was a lovely lady,” she said.
Chaffey said most people didn’t know she was there to witness the incident and it was definitely a sad time.
She’s been reaching out to organizations like the women’s council over the years, who she said has been doing all the hard work, so she encourages people to support them and their programs.
Janice Kennedy, executive director of the Bay St. George Status of Women Council, said she has seen an increase in the people who are availing of their services.
She’s not sure if it’s that more people know more about their services or if violence against women is increasing, which often happens during times of an economic downturn.
“In the last six weeks we’re seen a demand for services with more calls, drop-ins and one-on-one support at the Women’s Centre in St. Clare Avenue,” Kennedy said.
She said if anyone needs to reach out they can call 643-4444.