Doctor runs P.E.I. leg of marathon to stomp out violence
Feeling a cold breeze against her face, Dr. Roz Roach wept Sunday night as she ran up Queen Street in Charlottetown.
“What is really happening? What am I doing?” she thought, slowing from a jog to a walk.
She said she was doing something all Canadians need to do, in one form or another, to prevent violence.
Roach, organizer of the Stomp Out Violence cross-country run, was running the P.E.I. leg of the marathon. The run aims to raise awareness on the impact of violence on individuals and communities across Canada.
Coming to Canada in the 1960s and growing up in Montreal, Roach has seen the effects of violence from coast to coast.
“We need to step up to do what we can, individually and collectively, to make a difference,” she said.
Charlottetown was chosen as one of the eight locations for Roach because of its respected family violence prevention program, which includes the mayor’s purple ribbon task force.
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee welcomed Roach at a news conference Monday at city hall.
Roach’s concern focuses on violence towards women and children, but she said her targets include all forms of physical and emotional abuse.
“Violence is eroding the fabric of our society. Violence in its own bizarre way is affecting the quality of our lives.”
Lee said the run is a terrific opportunity to raise awareness on the issue of violence in Charlottetown, which impacts the community in many different forms.
“Unfortunately, a lot of times our police department are called in to deal with the aftermath of the situation,” he said.
Roach’s work in combating violence and her runs across Canada are truly amazing, said Lee.
“She deserves all kinds of credit for the initiative that she’s undertaking and hopefully it will have a major impact across the country.”
When she leaves Charlottetown, Roach said she hopes people will remember her message and group together to eradicate the community of violence.
“A life without violence, all forms of violence, is the only life to live.”