What does Violence Against Women mean? Why does Ontario need women’s shelters and sexual assault agencies? How can I help end the cycle of violence? What is trauma and how does this impact the lives of survivors? At WRRC we value learning and development. There is always more that we can learn so we can better support individuals experiencing violence. We encourage you to read books, watch videos, attend workshops, and talk to your friends and family. Since you’re already in the learning & resources section, you are on the right track!
We can’t always do it on our own. This year ask the women in your life what their dreams and goals are and ask how you can support them. Some examples could be validating her feelings, holding her accountable, or simply making time to connect. You could mentor a younger woman, support a local female owned business or do childcare so she has time for herself.
Boundaries are important to create and nurture healthy relationships. Take some time this New Year to learn and understand your own limits. Be self-aware and in tune with your feelings. Be clear and direct when communicating your boundaries with others. This can be difficult and take some time to hone in on this skill. Our Community Counsellor, Julia loves this topic! Feel free to come in and chat with her about boundaries over coffee.
Your story and voice is worth hearing! We all can learn so much from one another and better understand each other by taking the time to hear each other’s lived experiences. There are so many ways to express yourself and share your thoughts, opinions and experiences. Write a book, sing a song, paint, dance, talk to your neighbor. Be creative! Here at WRRC, we also make space for women to share their stories on our website. (See Linda’s story as an example). You can share as much or as little as you want. We also encourage anyone to submit creative pieces, whether text, audio, video, visual art, poetry etc, to be featured on this blog!
Take some time to reflect and think about what is important to you? What are you passionate about? What makes you angry and want to change the world? Are there any organizations that have similar values and passions to you? Take some time to learn about the social services in the area and see how you can help. Volunteering is also a great way to learn about local issues!
Below is a list of just a few organizations that do great work in Middlesex County that could use some support:
But seriously, no matter where you volunteer, it’s going to have an awesome impact on our community.
Some incredible women I look up to are really good at asking questions. Their questions challenge me and help me to reflect. Make a conversation more engaging by asking questions that help you better understand someone else’s point of view. We don’t always need to have the right answers or give advice in order to support someone we care about. By asking questions you could even empower someone to trust their own instincts to make decisions that work best for them.
You can’t fill someone else’s bucket if yours is empty. You matter too! Take a bath, binge watch Netflix, walk your dog, knit some slippers or do absolutely nothing. That’s okay! Focus on yourself, even for just a moment. Book it in your calendar if you need to.
Educate yourself on how politics affects your everyday life. Support other women by thinking about how they are impacted by decisions made at the various levels of government. Share your story with others and use your voice by voting!
Remember those organizations you are passionate about? They rely on donations to help fund their services and programs. Even $5 a month can make a difference. At WRRC $5 could purchase a journal for a woman who wants to practice self-care and begin healing from her trauma, it could provide transportation to a counselling appointment, or it could buy a woman lunch as she spends her day at court. No donation is too little.
The New Year is a perfect time to reflect on your past, but set goals for the future. We hope some of these suggestions will inspire you!back