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Stop Domestic Violence, Please!

Updated on January 31, 2017

Lucie Idlout - Singer and Songwriter

Lucie lived much of her early life in the High Arctic on North Baffin Island, Northwest Territories as it was known at the time, now Nunavut. Of Inuit heritage, Lucie has obvious ties to the culture of the north and the struggles that come with its unique geography.

Her passion as a songwriter and artist stretches far beyond the treeline, having also lived in several southern Canadian cities. In recent years, she splits her time between Toronto and Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Lucy is very passionate about violence against women and this is why she has written this lovely song in memory of her best friend Irene who's life was shattered in result of physical abuse.

Symbol Of Hope For Abused Women - Angel Street

The acoustic version, Angel Street, was discovered by the mayor of Iqaluit, Elisapee Sheutiapik, who championed to have the name of the street where the women's shelter is located renamed Angel Street.

Lucie performed the song for Bev Oda and all the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of the Status of Women at a function announcing the renaming of city streets across the country to Angel Street.

Several cities have taken it into consideration with Fredericton, NB already on board.

Lucie has been amazed by the impact of the song. She wrote from the heart but had no idea that the song would become such a symbol of hope for women and communities across the country. Both versions hold very special meaning to her.

When your partner becomes violent, you are in danger and must seek safety.

Where Can You Run To?

Is there a women's shelter in your city?

Do you know where it is?

Lovely Irene

The track Lovely Irene is a song greater than the sound of its parts.

A rocker on the album that showcases Lucie's gravelly growl prowess that harkens back to the likes of PJ Harvey, the song was re-recorded as an acoustic track with a children's choir from Iqaluit as backup singers and very meaningfully re-titled Angel Street.

Lucie wrote the song, telling the sad, unfortunate details of her friend Irene, the victim of abuse.

The acoustic version, Angel Street, was discovered by the mayor of Iqaluit, Elisapee Sheutiapik, who championed to have the name of the street where the women's shelter is located renamed Angel Street.

A Place To Run To - Documentary Video

The acoustic version of this song can be found in the following short documentary.

A Place To Run To, which focuses on the issue of spousal abuse in the north.

Click on the picture to watch the short documentary.

Angry Men, Stop This Violence!

Why do men think they must dominate women.

Is it because they were brought up this way?

Were these men abused as young boys?

Did they see their fathers abuse their mothers?

Who gives them the right to hit a woman?

How can women protect themselves from these violent men?

Who is responsible for this violence?

"He doesn't mean to hurt me-he just loses control."

"He can be sweet and gentle."

"He's scared me a few times, but he never hurts the children-he's a great father."

"He's had a really hard life..."

Women in abusive relationships tell themselves these things every day.

Domestic Violence Safety Planning

Preparing a security plan allows the victim to plan ahead in case of a dangerous situation that may occur.

1 - First, determine a course of action in case another incident occurs.

2 - In your home, avoid confrontations in rooms where there is only one exit.

3 - Avoid certain rooms that contain many potential weapons (such as kitchens, bathrooms, etc.)

4 - Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.

5 - Keep change with you at all times.

6 - Memorize all important numbers.

7 - Establish a "code word" or "sign" so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.

8 - Think about what you will say to your partner if he\she becomes violent.

Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.

Angel Street Single

For those who are aware of Lucie's new song, Angel Street, as well as the campaign of capital cities across Canada to name one of their streets after the song, the track is finally available on iTunes and other digital outlets for download.

For those who don't know this great story, you can listen online to the documentary entitled "Lovely Irene" that CBC Radio's The Current aired in February.

The Angel Street recording features a children's choir from Iqaluit, Nunavut as well as three members of the band, Blue Rodeo.

Support the

Angel Street

in your city.

Lyrics By Lucie Idlout

ANGEL STREET

Music & lyrics by Lucie Idlout

Broken down on Angel Street

He pushed you down

Made you unseen

Irene

High heels on a gravel road

He never loved you

That's all he knows

Could never please him

So the story goes

Irene

High heels on a gravel road

My lovely Irene

Irene

You ain't crazy

How could you have known

He'd kill a lifetime

And break all your bones

Irene

High heels on a gravel road

My lovely Irene

I love you Irene

Why didn't you walk away

You should have just walked away

Swagger - My Favorite Album

Her sophomore effort, Swagger, continues in the tradition of her 2004 debut, E5-770, My Mother's Name.

The album, produced by Chris Shreenan-Dyck who has worked with Blue Rodeo, Kris Kristofferson, and Ron Sexsmith was released through Sun Rev Records on February 10, 2009.

Swagger tackles love, abandonment, loneliness and the search for balance in life.

The song Whiskey Breath signaled the end of a bout of writer's block that Lucie had endured for a year and a half.

While on a trip to the Catskill Mountains in northern New York, a friend challenged her to write a song and out of that came Whiskey Breath, the dark, brooding rebirth of Lucie's writing voice.

The song Belly Down tackles the feelings of a small town girl as she gets swallowed by the big city which Lucie describes as "losing in a game she had no business playing".

Lucie Idlout, Nunavut's gift to alternative rock, poses on the ice at Sylvia Grinell Territorial Park.
Lucie Idlout, Nunavut's gift to alternative rock, poses on the ice at Sylvia Grinell Territorial Park.

Canada's Coolest

A rock writer chasing White Stripes discovers lots of other colors.

Lucie Idlout, Nunavut's gift to alternative rock, poses on the ice at Sylvia Grinell Territorial Park.

IQALUIT-This is one of the last places you'd expect to bustle, but Iqaluit is a remarkably lively spot for an outpost on the edge of civilization.

When the temperature drops to -45 C, the wind hits high gear and the snow falls so thick and fast that a trip from the front door to the car is impossible, it's no doubt a different story. Yet in springtime the streets of Nunavut's capital - while only one of them is actually paved - are abuzz with human traffic and taxi cabs whipping to and from well into the wee hours of the morning.

It's a bit of a head trip at times, since a turn around the right corner or a trip up the aptly named Road to Nowhere can lead to utter silence and a barren, ice-choked ocean or mountain vista straight out of a Farley Mowat novel. But its capacity for delivering such "wow" moments is exactly what makes Iqaluit such an intriguing place to be.

Lucie Idlout, Nunavut's Gift To Alternative Rock

Lucie, who splits her time between Iqaluit and Toronto, is the perfect ambassador for her hometown: Hip, smart, urbane and cool on her own terms.

For Iqaluit, a town of 6,000 whose population averages just 25.6 years of age, is indeed a far cooler place to be than most of Canada might realize.

It's probably time word got out. Like most Canadian communities with a primarily aboriginal population (Nunavut is 85 per cent Inuit).

Iqaluit has its share of systemic social problems – chief among them being high unemployment, a suicide rate said to be four times the national average and a distressing 75 per cent dropout rate in its schools.

Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

What Lucie has to say about where she grew up:

"Iqaluit itself is the capital of our territory, so it's the biggest `urban' - and I say that in quotations - centre and it has all the modern amenities," observes singer/songwriter Lucie Idlout, the tough-talking Iqaluit native who scored the job of opening for visiting rock gods the White Stripes at the Arctic Winter Games Arena. "If you want to see the latest film releases, you go to Astro Theatre. But if you want to get out onto the land, you come to Sylvia Grinnell Park. Everything is just steps away. You're right on the ocean and in the middle of nature, really.

"It's obviously most comfortable for Inuit to behave as Inuit, and so to continue on with traditions that have always existed for our people makes perfect sense. But on the other hand, we also have MTV, we have MuchMusic - we've got better cable up here than you can get down south. - so we're seeing what happens down south ...

"So Inuit being very adaptable people, we've just managed to take all the tools from down south that exist for everybody else and make them our own."

"It's crazy. When I grew up here and when I was going to school here, there were 3,500 people. It's doubled. It's growing so fast ... Right now, though, all of Nunavut's money comes from the federal government. There's no economic development here, there's not really any tourism ..."

Pauktuutit-Inuit Woman Of Canada

Inuit communities continue to report the need for crisis and long-term counselling, safe shelters and training of Inuit front-line workers in order to address these issues.

According to the Statistics Canada report Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006, rates of violence experienced by women in the three territories were 12 per cent compared to seven per cent in the rest of Canada. The report also found that:

Some 54 per cent of Aboriginal women report the most severe and potentially life threatening forms of violence, compared with 37 per cent for non-Aboriginal women;

Where the rates of spousal violence are much higher in the territories than in the rest of Canada, the severity and impacts of spousal violence are also greater;

28 per cent of women in Nunavut are victims of spousal violence compared to seven per cent in the provinces;

Police report higher rates of violent crimes in the territories, including sexual assaults and spousal homicides;

Per capita rates of shelter use are much higher in the territories than in the provinces, with Nunavut having the highest shelter usage per capita: shelter use in Nunavut on a single day was a staggering 10 times higher than any of the provinces.

The resources available for Inuit women in the North who are victims of domestic violence and for their children fall far short of meeting their needs and safe shelters are not able to keep up with the demand for their services.

Too often Inuit women have to leave their homes and families in the Arctic to seek safety in another location where they often find themselves marginalized and isolated in big cities and continue to experience violence and abuse.

The Making Our Shelters Strong project developed a training workshop for front line workers in Inuit communities, which helps address the need for ongoing training and support for those working with women and children fleeing abuse in isolated communities.

Pauktuutit continues to move forward in its commitment to keeping abuse and violence prevention as a priority. Collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross is currently being undertaken to bring a comprehensive violence prevention program to the North and to the urban centres with large Inuit populations.

Pauktuutit continues to work towards the vision of an Inuit society of healthy individuals who respect the past and embrace the future as Inuit, and who live in supportive families and caring communities. In this vision, violence and abuse are rare occurrences that are dealt with swiftly and justly according to Inuit ways. Abusers are held accountable for their actions, and both victims and abusers are supported in their healing process.

Have you ever been in a violent situation? Please share your experience with us.

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    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      No, and I am so thankful for that. I look back on my life and realise that, had I made different choices, I could have been. I feel so bad for people, both women and men, and not forgetting the children, who are locked into abusive relationships. I hope reading this lens will give them the key they need to break free.

    • profile image

      dream1983 5 years ago

      Very nice article, well done! Squidlike

    • carolinarobin profile image

      carolinarobin 5 years ago

      I have never been a victim of violence and I am grateful. I have though in my line of work met many a woman who has. So thank you for this lens and the awareness it creates.

    • WildWilliams profile image

      WildWilliams 5 years ago

      Thank you for the information...