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Home News Prince Albert residents turn the town purple to raise awareness about brain injuries

Prince Albert residents turn the town purple to raise awareness about brain injuries

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Prince Albert residents turn the town purple to raise awareness about brain injuries
Members of the Prince Albert and Shellbrook Royal Purple lodges were in Prince Albert on Thursday donating gift bags and supplies to the Prince Albert Safe Shelter as part of Purple Thursday. -- Submitted photo.

Prince Albert and area residents turned the region purple, and donated much needed items to a local shelter as part of Canada’s inaugural Purple Thursday.

Royal Purple lodges from across Canada banded together to dress in purple, and donate more than 1,000 bags containing gifts, toiletries, and cosmetic items to shelters that provide a place to stay for women and children escaping domestic violence. That total includes more than 300 bags in Saskatchewan alone.

“Our first Royal Purple Thursday has just been absolutely phenomenal,” national president Sandi Lougheed said in an interview Thursday afternoon. “We have people wearing purple in Iqaluit, in Nunavut, in Ontario, (and) all across Canada…. It’s just been absolutely exciting.”

Royal Purple lodges across Canada have made it their goal to educate the public about brain injuries, and how to prevent and treat them. Lougheed said roughly 80 per cent of women who experience interpersonal violence will suffer a brain injury, usually a concussion. She worries it’s one area where brain injuries aren’t given enough attention, as opposed to other areas, like sports.

“Instances like being hit in the head, strangled, and we don’t think about those kinds of injuries,” Lougheed explained. “It’s no different if a woman, or a man, gets hit in the head, whether it’s on the hockey ice, or whether it’s in your home, except that your home is supposed to be a safe place.”

In Prince Albert, Royal Purple representatives dropped off tubs, boxes, and bags full of supplies at the Prince Albert Safe Shelter on Seventh Street. Lougheed said the dedication of local chapters like those in Prince Albert, along with local businesses and individual sponsors, helped make the day a success.

“Communities like Prince Albert have always rallied around the brain injury population and around the Royal Purple and its cause, and we thank you all for that,” she said.

The Prince Albert and Shellbrook Royal Purple chapters banded together to support the Prince Albert Safe Shelter on Purple Thursday. Elaine Perkins serves as president of the Shellbrook chapter and secretary for the Prince Albert chapter. She said it was encouraging to see so much support from local businesses, and individuals who stepped up to support the cause.

“This is a very important day for us,” Perkins said.

“It has become a big undertaking, but an exciting undertaking, for the Canadian Royal Purple and the lodges throughout Canada.”

The Royal Purple became more involved in helping safe shelters at the request of interpersonal and domestic violence groups in Toronto.

Perkins said many members of the public don’t realize just how many brain injuries occur among victims of domestic violence, but that is changing thanks to outside help.

“I believe they’re slowly starting (to see it),” she said. “I think of the sports—the NHL, the CFL, the higher, more popular sports and leagues—they have brought it out in the open more, but we’ve got so far to go. So far to go.”

Perkins said the biggest problem is that brain injuries can be difficult to see with the casual eye, as opposed to other injuries like broken bones, and severe cuts and bruising. She’s also worried the true number of brain injuries among domestic violence victims may be even higher than researchers realize.


“We must remember, these are the only ones that are reported.,” she said. “How many who are out there are not reported?”