Virden Royal Purple members, Shirley Gibson (Past National President), and Fran Bayliss (National Director for Manitoba), attended the Canadian Royal Purple Society Annual General Meeting in Strathmore, Alberta, July 16-19, with Royal Purple members from across Canada.
The Canadian Royal Purple Society has adopted Brain Injury Awareness and Prevention as the National Cause.
Our national events are: Brain Love Month in March, Royal Purple Week in May, a National Poster Contest for students on Brain Injury, and Purple Thursday, the third Thursday in October.
The highlight of the event was the Lunch & Learn Session held Tuesday, July 19.
In attendance were: Shane Remple, Southern Alberta Brain Injury Association (SABIS), Ashley Brosda, Alberta Brain Care Center, as well as Dr. Halina Haag, researcher from Wilfred Laurier University.
Shane Remple from Calgary, Alberta, told the assembly that SABIS is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting brain injury survivors and their supporters access the necessary services and resources to live as independently as possible in the community.
Ashley Brosda, Brain Care Center in the Edmonton - Edson Area, spoke about the non-profit organization which provides programs and services to adults who have sustained acquired brain injuries, and their support systems.
Guest speaker, Dr. Halina Hagg, is a PhD candidate and Contract Faculty member with the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfred Laurier University and a research trainee at the Acquired Brain Injury Research Lab at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on women survivors of intimate partner violence with resultant brain injury.
A Shadow Pandemic emerged over the last two years at the intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Brain Injury. Researcher, Lin Haag says that the number of women affected is staggering - one in three experience IPV - when one considers that most women who experience IPV, sustain a brain injury as a consequence.
Lin Haag is exploring the gendered experiences of brain injury - the barriers and facilitating factors influencing mental health, return to work, and social integration encountered by brain injured women survivors of intimate partner violence.
Dr. Haag told the group that every year thousands of women experience intimate partner violence, receiving injuries from battery to the head, neck and face. Unfortunately, very little has been done to examine this condition leaving women survivors vulnerable to increased rates of repeat violence, permanent disability, criminal justice system engagement, homelessness, poverty, and mental health challenges.
After the presentation by Dr. Haag, a cheque for $5000 (monies gathered from Royal Purple groups across Canada) was presented to a research center, “WomenatthecentrE” for ongoing research.
Brain Injury Awareness and Prevention and launching Purple Thursday in October will enable our organization and members to take a leading role as a national partner in stopping the violence and raising awareness.
On the third Thursday in October, Virden Royal Purple members along with other Royal Purple groups across Canada will deliver Purple Care bags to designated Women’s shelters. With the support of local communities, we can all be part of this great initiative.