On a day when many Calgarians were heading to church, people of all faiths joined together yesterday for the first Multi-Faith Walk to End Family Violence.
The event was inspired by Syed Soharwardy, the Calgary Muslim leader who walked across Canada against violence last summer.
Soharwardy spoke at yesterday’s event along with religious leaders from the Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish and Christian communities in Calgary.
“Family violence crosses all boundries,” said Linda White, the executive director of the Alliance to End Violence, the group behind this year’s walk.
“To have represented here all these religions declaring their interest in ending family violence is a big step,” she said.
Calgary has one of the highest rates of family violence, said Lisa Fakowsky, executive director of the Calgary women’s emergency shelter.
“It’s time to say ‘no more,’” said Fakowsky.
About 200 Calgarians turned out for the walk which made a stop at the city’s Garden of Hope.
Darlene Haslam is the volunteer in charge of the garden; she became involved with the shelter in 2002 after her cousin was killed by domestic violence.
“It’s a place where we could go to contemplate family violence,” said Haslam, adding the garden is a place of renewal for survivors and their families.
The Calgary women’s emergency shelter plans to add to the garden along the Bow River trail so more people know it’s there.