Family Violence Initiative



Raising Awareness in Broader Community

Program name:

Purple Ribbon Campaign, Family Violence Prevention Program


Cambridge Bay Wellness Centre


Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Target Group:

Women and children escaping violence

Contact Name:

Amanda Baldwin, Shelter Co-ordinator





Program Overview

The Family Violence Prevention Program was established in Cambridge Bay in 1987. The Purple Ribbon Campaign started when, a few years ago, a woman was locked out of her house by her partner. It was -72f degrees with the wind chill and she was dressed only in her underwear. She ran to several homes but had to knock on many doors before she found shelter. She had to have extensive treatment for frostbite in the following weeks and months. This is not an uncommon occurrence in Cambridge Bay. The Family Violence Prevention Program sponsors a shelter for women and children escaping violence.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To increase awareness and community responsiveness to violence against women and children by: developing a network of identified homes in the community where women (and children) can receive immediate shelter and assistance (25 homes are identified with a purple ribbon sign in the front window, similar to the Block Parent program); and raising the emotional intelligence of the community in terms of self care, identifying resources, recognizing resilience, developing coping skills and setting appropriate personal boundaries

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The Purple Ribbon Campaign attempts to educate the public that violence against women and children is not culturally acceptable. Family events, community banquets and dances are traditional cultural activities designed to strengthen community bonds.

Components of program:

The program offers one to one counselling to women and men who are victims of violence. The program works with local schools on drama therapy, anti-bullying workshops and family violence prevention awareness. There is a monthly ladies' night, men's night and family night which focus on educating the community about family life, personal boundaries and building healthy relationships. The program also sponsors educational/awareness programs, healing workshops, individual counselling, advocacy, addictions workshops, group therapy, family dances, and community feasts. The program works with members of the community who wish to offer their homes as safe places for people in crisis to go to in times of need. These homes are marked by a purple ribbon situated clearly in the front window so those seeking shelter can readily find it. The program offers training to those community members who wish to offer their homes up as shelter to those in need.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility or out in the community.


Funding is provided by: the Department of Health Canada; and the Government of Nunavut.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Women Elders and other community members sit on the board of the Cambridge Bay Wellness Centre. The staff of the Purple Ribbon Campaign are women. Women, men, children and teens participate in the Purple Ribbon Campaign public and school-based activities.


Local and regional service providers; local schools; the local college; the RCMP; the local housing authority; and the local Justice Committee.

Other relationships:

Participating communities.

Details of Program Evaluation

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:


Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the increased health and safety of community families, women and children.


The Cambridge Bay Wellness Centre has been able to run programs such as the Purple Ribbon Campaign despite the lack of core funding. The community is supportive of the Purple Ribbon Campaign and many families have volunteered to assist by making their homes available to women and children who need immediate shelter.


Obtaining funding. The main challenge of the program is the fairly common community attitude that it is socially and culturally acceptable to abuse women (and sometimes men) in this way. The lack of core funding for the program is also a challenge.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. People would need to know how to build community support for the network of safe homes. They would need to know how to work with schools, plan community events and work with other local service providers. It is helpful, in these days of government restraint, if they know how to run programs on very limited budgets.


Adequate funding and appropriately trained staff are necessary for the program to succeed.