At a glance, the seemingly festive scene depicted in the window of one retailer in Toronto looks like a very familiar one: a family is seated around the dinner table next to a Christmas tree. A closer look at the spectacle, though, reveals a much darker aspect to the scene — one that is also, unfortunately, familiar at this time of year. Observers will notice that none of the mannequins seated around the holiday feast have smiles on their faces. Then, a jarring moment comes when the male mannequin raises his hand to threaten or hit the female mannequin. She abruptly recoils in fear. The display has caused controversy, but is meant to call attention to the problem of domestic abuse and is called “The Window Project,” a joint effort by the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) and the Yellow Brick House, a shelter for abused women. Domestic abuse incidents sharply increase during the holiday season by as much as 30 percent, according to some estimates. Onlookers who see the display are urged to send a text message declaring “No More” to Yellow Brick House along with a donation of $5. The scene is only on display for a week and was launched on December 6 to coincide with the anniversary of the shooting massacre at Montreal university in 1989 that claimed the lives of 14 women.
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