Forty-eight women in Nova Scotia have been murdered by their partners since 1990. That’s the number country singer Audra Raulyns hopes will resonate with high school students as she tours the province speaking about domestic violence.
Raulyns is touring Nova Scotia high schools with the Silent Witness Project to try and stop partner violence. On Wednesday the group stopped at the Chebucto Education Centre in Guysborough.
“If there is bullying, physical bullying going on in our schools, what makes us think this isn't happening in your intimate relationships in our schools,” she said.
"Gentlemen, the generation that's already killed 48 women in Nova Scotia, they’re grown men now. It’s only you guys that are going to be able to make the change."
The presentation featured a red, life-sized, free-standing wood silhouette of a woman. It represents women who were killed by a spouse, boyfriend or intimate acquaintance.
In 1997, Raulyns was almost one of them.
“I remember him pushing me down the stairs, after tumbling down the stairs, he had gotten me to the back porch and literally from my throat he strangled me. I blacked out,” she said.
“It’s almost like an out of body experience you can't believe it's happening to you when it's happening.”
So far, her sobering message is forcing some teens to think..
“It was really good, funny at times, serious at others. It really moved me. I cried a little bit,’ said Lisa Hanke.
Raulyns said the group Silent Witness Project found her to give victims a voice.
“At least I'm still living. I've still got air in my lungs. I can talk about it,” she said.
Thousands of students have already heard her message, but Raulyns said there are more to talk to.
The Silent Witness Project began in Minnesota more than a decade ago.