Taking a stand … against domestic violence

Community Featured

Members of the Black Lives Matter movement took a stand against domestic violence Sunday evening outside of the New Glasgow Police station. The protest was sparked by a recent incident that happened in the community.

After those involved and some in the community felt the response by NGRPD was not appropriate for the situation, the group organized the protest that began at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and lasted until Monday.

A number of speakers were present for the sit-in protest outside and those who stayed overnight also had a sit-in inside the station to call out the actions of the police.

With around 22 attending the initial protest and eight that stayed overnight, the BLM community was hoping to draw attention to what they feel is neglect from police to a black woman and her family over what was described by the protestors as a life-threatening situation.

“That’s why we’re here tonight… too many women fall victim of domestic violence,” said Angela Bowden, activist, and speaker at the protest. “Part of the reason women don’t come forward is because they fear that they won’t be believed, they fear that they won’t be taken seriously and they fear repercussion from the perpetrator and their families when they do.”

“We do need to stand in solidarity and we do need to ask for justice,” said Dawn Peters who also spoke during the rally Sunday.

Demonstrators were hoping that their voices would be heard by the community, the justice system, and law enforcement to make domestic violence a more serious matter, and dealt with as such.

Monday afternoon, demonstrators were still at the police station staging a peaceful sit-in; although they were asked to leave by police due to public health and COVID-19 reasons they remained sitting and kept their masks on during the sit-in, holding signs. The group remained until 4 p.m. to mark the seven hours that the family in distress had to wait to receive the help they requested, according to the demonstrators.

Const. Ken MacDonald of the New Glasgow Regional Police said the case in question is still an active investigation so he is not able to comment on it.

Police Chief Stephen Chisholm did wish to comment on the protest, however, saying, “New Glasgow Regional Police fully supports the messaging by BLM’s peaceful protest for ending violence against women. NGRP is committed to working within the framework of the NS domestic violence protocol. At this time we cannot comment on the specifics of ongoing investigations that are before the courts, but we are currently conducting a full internal review as it relates to the specific subject matter of this peaceful protest.”

As well as hosting the protest at the police station, demonstrators also made Facebook live videos and posted photos and posts on the Pictou County Supporting #BLM Movement Facebook page.

Protestors lined the lawn of the New Glasgow Regional Police Department Sunday evening to call for better action against domestic violence. (Brimicombe photo)