Nurses from across BC marched to the Vancouver Art Gallery today to send a loud message that it’s time to end the chronic violence within their profession and in their communities.
BC Nurses’ Union President, Gayle Duteil said she’s honoured this year to stand next to Laurie Parsons, the executive director of the Ishtar Transition Housing Society, a local organization that assists women, men and children who have experienced abuse. BCNU is raising money for the organization and will be presenting a cheque to Ishtar on Thursday.
“As nurses, we share a common thread with the work Ishtar is committed to,” said Duteil. “Every single day, in worksites around this province, nurses provide care for those who are victims of abuse and violence. In times of need, it is usually nurses who are there, providing care without prejudice.”
“Violence against women, youth and children in BC is an ongoing public health and safety crisis that remains a devastating reality for so many.”
A province-wide violence-prevention campaign, which launched in March, includes a number of initiatives aimed at highlighting the violence against nurses. On May 16, BCNU launched a new television commercial showing the risks community nurses’ often experience in their line of work.
“Every single day, in communities large and small, nurses are beaten, kicked, receive death threats, attacked with weapons and assaulted,” added Duteil. “Nurses’ safety was a key issue throughout the provincial election campaign and we are determined to hold the government to account on this very important issue.”
Today’s rally had close to five hundred nurses in attendance. There was also a performance by
JB, The First Lady, a local indigenous singer and songwriter who dedicated the rally’s closing song to the missing and murdered women across BC.
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