MFRCS conference tackles pain of gender violence

Cliff Kenyon

Shannon Moroney

Guest speaker is Shannon Moroney of Toronto.
Photo: Submitted

Floyd Perras and his staff at 4 Wing Military Family Resource Centre Society (MFRCS) don’t like the status quo.

They prefer change and they are ready to push for it when it’s a worthwhile cause.

Violence against women is a cause they are ready to act on says Perras, 4 Wing MFRCS executive director. MFRCS will be holding a one-day conference joining the battle against gender violence on Saturday, February 8.

“The goal of the conference is to open the conversation on what we need to do to ensure women and men feel safe at work and at play,” said Perras.

He said it is shocking and it’s a fact that many women don’t feel safe venturing outside alone after dark.

“We don’t accept the status quo that women don’t feel safe,” said Perras.
“As guys many of us don’t understand how personal safety is often at the top of mind for many women.”

Keynote speaker at the conference being held at MFRCS will be Shannon Moroney, of Toronto, an acclaimed author with two national bestsellers. In Through the Glass, published in 2011, Moroney tells her own journey following the violent crimes and incarceration of her first husband in 2005. She now travels extensively leading transformative forgiveness and healing retreats for individuals and communities overcoming trauma. She is a registered counsellor helping those hurt by crime, grief, loss and other life challenges.

Moroney was a high school guidance counsellor in 2005 when her husband was arrested after confessing to the sexual assault and kidnapping of two women. After discovering a lack of help for families of criminals, Moroney became a restorative justice advocate who speaks on the ripple effect of crime.

The conference, at 4 Wing MFRCS, is open to the public beginning at 8:30 a.m. Moroney’s morning presentation will be followed by a free lunch and two workshops, each of 90 minutes, featuring local contacts involved in organizations helping victims of crimes of gender violence.

“We want to talk about supports that are available in the community,” said Sheri Scott, MFRCS Family Education Co-ordinator.

Featured will be counsellors from Dragonfly Counselling and Support Centre, Bonnyville, and the Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre in Cold Lake.

But Perras said the conference isn’t solely about women.

“We hope that both men and women attend,” he said. “It isn’t just about women. It’s about community. Men need to know about this stuff, too. They need to learn about how to look out for the women around them.”