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Large crowd participates in walk to honour Catherine Campbell

Approximately 100 people walk through Stellarton Sunday in honour of Catherine Campbell, who was a member of the Stellarton Fire Department before her death in 2015.
Approximately 100 people walk through Stellarton Sunday in honour of Catherine Campbell, who was a member of the Stellarton Fire Department before her death in 2015.

STELLARTON, N.S. - Catherine Campbell’s aunt Mandy Wong remembers her as someone who was always helping people. In Campbell’s honour, her family, friends, colleagues and members of the community also tried to help others as they marched through Stellarton on Sunday in an attempt to raise awareness of the prevalence of violence against women.

“She met women in this situation and helped whatever way she could and ultimately, was a victim herself. So maybe if women see, … even a police officer can be a victim, it might let them know you’re not alone,” said Wong on Sunday afternoon before approximately 100 people walked from NSCC Pictou Campus to the Stellarton Fire Hall.

Wong said the walk might show women who are suffering that people care and help them come forward for help.

Campbell’s aunt Lynn Rockey said she thought with the 16 Days of Activism, which is a United Nations initiative against gender-based violence that is currently underway, that she should organize something in memory of Campbell.

Truro Police Service Const. Catherine Campbell was reported missing in September 2015, with her remains later found on Sept. 16.

Campbell had also been a member of the Stellarton Fire Department.

“She met women in this situation and helped whatever way she could and ultimately, was a victim herself. So maybe if women see, … even a police officer can be a victim, it might let them know you’re not alone,” said Wong on Sunday afternoon before approximately 100 people walked from NSCC Pictou Campus to the Stellarton Fire Hall.

Wong said the walk might show women who are suffering that people care and help them come forward for help.

Campbell’s aunt Lynn Rockey said she thought with the 16 Days of Activism, which is a United Nations initiative against gender-based violence that is currently underway, that she should organize something in memory of Campbell.

Truro Police Service Const. Catherine Campbell was reported missing in September 2015, with her remains later found on Sept. 16.

Campbell had also been a member of the Stellarton Fire Department.

Wong said she hopes the walk lets people know how often violence against women is happening, referencing statistics that say half of all Canadian women have experienced physical or sexual violence, which comes from a one-time-only survey by Statistics Canada in 1993.

She also said two-thirds of Canadians have known a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse, information that comes from a study commissioned by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and released in 2012.

Both Wong and Rockey said though they’d love to see more people, they were happy with the turnout, which included a large contingent of Stellarton firefighters.

Among those walking through Stellarton were family friends, including Jeanne Bowman, who first met Campbell when she was 10 years old, she said.

“She was always so funny and caring. I’m just here to support the family and it’s a good cause. We need to be more aware of violence against women and anybody, really…”

Sis Harris echoed those sentiments, noting that she worked with Campbell at Eastern Sign Print in Stellarton 15 years ago.

“She was always such a funny, outgoing girl. I loved her from day number one and thought I’d come to show support.”

Mary Jane Jeffery, a support worker at the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre in Truro, was passing out purple ribbons and “cards of kindness,” an initiative started by the women’s centre that asks people to perform an act of kindness in Campbell’s memory.

When she heard about the walk from Rockey, Jeffery said she wanted to be there.

“It’s the field I work in and it’s what we’re always fighting for,” she said. “You really want to keep the memory alive and keep it fresh in people’s minds. Not for the sadness of the fact, but so that it doesn’t happen again. …”

A Stellarton firefighter pins a purple ribbon on a child before Catherine Campbell’s Walk for Awareness of Violence Against Women on Sunday.

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