Medal of Good Citizenship awarded to outspoken abuse survivor

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Minister of Environment Mary Polak, on behalf of Premier Christy
Clark, will present Kamal Dhillon, a courageous Langley citizen, with the
province’s newest honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship.

The ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 3 p.m. at the Douglas
Recreation Centre, 20550 Douglas Crescent.

Launched in July 2015 by Premier Clark, the prestigious Medal of Good
Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term
service, have made outstanding contributions to their communities without
expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity,
service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life.
Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.

Dhillon, who is a survivor of severe domestic violence, will be honoured
with the medal for her courage to transcend her suffering from domestic
violence to bring a powerful message to the public about domestic violence,
offer hope to other victims, and to advocate for changes in laws.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include support
to victims of domestic violence and willingness to travel to conferences and
communities where she brings awareness of the devastation exacted by
domestic violence to classrooms, police departments, business and community
organizaions, and churches. Whether speaking to officials at the The World
Bank, The International Monetary Fund, or a local group of educators, her
inspirational message brings understanding to the complex issue, and hope to
victims of domestic violence.

Although Dhillon still has residual suffering from her injuries, she remains
a tireless advocate for changes in laws, better services for victims, and
training for police, social workers, educators and others who may see
evidence of someone being abused. In particular she lobbied for the federal
government to bring in the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices
Act and today would still like those laws to be toughened. Her personal
story, told in her book Black and Blue Sari, has raised the issue on the
international front and helped those on the front line to better recognize
domestic abuse and provide victims with the support they need.

Dhillon is among a select group of British Columbians who will receive the
Medal of Good Citizenship.

“Kamal Dhillon has worked tirelessly to support women who, like herself,
have been victims of domestic violence. Her courage to speak publically
about the challenges victims face helps better prepare front-line workers
and ensures vulnerable women get the support and protection they need,” said Premier Christy Clark.

“There are many people who generously volunteer their time, effort and
skills to make their community better and this honour acknowledges their
excellence, achievement and service. The time spent reviewing nominations
was inspiring, and it reinforced to me that we live in a province, where
each and every day, citizens can make a difference through their generosity
and selflessness,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and chair of
the Medal of Good Citizenship selection committee –

Mary Polak, MLA, Langley , said :”The work that Kamal Dhillon has done to support women who have been abused
puts the spotlight on the issue both here at home and in many other
jurisdictions. Despite ongoing health challenges, she has steadfastedly
envisioned a society where women are valued and treated with respect, and
laws and services are there to protect them.”
“For so long I was damaged, I was broken, I was left for dead, and I had
huge trust issues. But I have learned to forgive and moved beyond the
losses, abuse, betrayal, injustice and misfortune. I will not let my past
define me. I came this far not to give up. I am determined to overcome and
be a change agent. Thank you for bestowing this huge honour of Medal of Good
Citizenship. It makes me even more determined to continue my work,” said Kamal Dhillon.

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