Starting on November 1st every year, we start to ramp up awareness about gender-based violence in a province-wide campaign. At WRRC, we see the effects of gender-based violence every single day. As a result, we’re more determined than ever to try and prevent it. The trauma that violence leaves behind is complex and incredibly hurtful, and it puts lives in danger.
The impact of gender-based violence is far reaching. Often, people who have dealt with trauma have intersecting challenges, including mental health, addition and poverty. Many times, women have to choose between living in poverty, and living in violence. In Middlesex, this problem is often compounded by a lack of safe, affordable housing.
Often if there is violence in the home, children are witnesses. In this case, violence not only has a direct impact on women who are experiencing it first-hand, but the kids as well. At WRRC, we have a Children’s Program that helps kiddos deal with their own trauma. Often, children don’t have the tools or language to deal with the intense emotions they are feeling.
Many people know by now that physical violence isn’t the only type of abuse someone can experience. However, there seems to be a prevailing myth that “woman abuse” looks like a woman fleeing her home in the middle of the night to a secret place. Don’t get us wrong, this definitely still happens (and WRRC’s crisis shelter is there for those that need it). However, there is a broad spectrum of what abuse can look like. Everything from your partner scrolling through your phone, reading your texts, tracking your movements, calling you degrading names, putting you down, controlling your finances, and being jealous. All are forms of coercive and controlling behavior. To learn more about it, check out the education section of our website.
We know gender-based violence continues to be a major issue around the world, and Strathroy-Middlesex is no exception. At WRRC, we help support 200 women and families every year. In our Children’s program, 223 individuals received service. Our small community cupboard was visited 896 times. We also had 175 calls to our 24/7 crisis line. To be honest, these numbers are not dwindling. And behind every one of those numbers, there is a woman, a family, a child being impacted by Woman Abuse.
There are so many ways you can get involved with WRRC – this month especially. Here are a few that might interest you:
Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blog and receive updates about WRRC and other things that are going on in the Women’s Movement locally and globally! Subscribe here.