In Canada, every six days a woman is killed due to domestic violence. Ryan Graham, and Des Donovan are Corrections’ workers at Maplehurst Detention Centre, and see the damage these incidents do firsthand. On January 8, they spent a day out in the cold to raise awareness of the problem, and fundraise for Halton Women’s Place.

The guards had been looking to get out into the community to do some kind of awareness campaign. Graham took the initiative. “I threw this out there, we hopped on it.” The result was an entire day, and night spent out in the cold. Maplehurst is located on 25 highway right beside the 401 interchange. Overnight was spent in a tent set up on a hill by the complex entrance. There was a BBQ held throughout the afternoon.

Ryan Graham is a prison guard, and sees what life is like for the prisoners. Approximately 20% of the inmates at Maplehurst have a history of domestic violence. “We basically felt, what more perfect of a campaign, and a partnership than to partner with the Halton Women’s Place,” (HWP) Graham said. They had previously worked together on a Christmas campaign to help with some of the group’s needs over the holidays.

Halton Women’s Place Executive Director Diane Beaulieu visited the makeshift camp. “We are thrilled to partner with Maplehurst and Vanier on this,” Halton Women’s Place operates two shelters in Halton, and a 24- hour crisis line. They want to help women no matter where they end up. “Our goal is to help women with mental health issues. If they end up here at Vanier, we want to help them there too, Beaulieu said.

Donovan is a Parole officer at Maplehurst. He connects people with the resources needed in the way of housing, and counselling after they complete their jail term. “If they’re flung out there without any support, they’re going to reoffend, and nobody wants that,” he said. Their night in the cold raised $3,040 for Halton Women’s Place. For more information on how to help Halton Women’s Place, visit: www. haltonwomensplace.com

Laura Steiner
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