Blog

Rose’s Story

I remember the day I met 6-year old Rose and her mother, who had just come to Joy’s Place Transitions House for their safety. They had just fled a horrific domestic scene and an unhealthy family. Her mother was scared that her partner would make good on his threats to harm them should they leave.

Rose had never known a healthy relationship, never felt safe, or how to trust. I am so grateful they found their way to us.

We met with and listened to Rose and her mom. Rose’s mom was conflicted- she still loved her partner despite the pain he caused; but could not stand to see her daughter exposed to such violence.

Often, people like Rose’s mom blame themselves for the abuse they suffer, for staying, for continuing to love their abuser.

But the truth is, so many women who are abused as adults grew up in abusive homes themselves. We work with people to explain the dynamics of abuse and break the cycle.

Our staff and counsellors spend the time needed with every woman and child until they can claim their sense of self, and find the courage to set their life on a new path.

It was crucial for Rose and her mom to have a place like Joy’s Place Transition House to turn to. Today, Rose and her mom are living a new life. They are no longer scared and have learned to trust.

It is only with the help of donors that we can be there for girls like Rose and her mom. If you’re interesting in supporting this critical work you can donate here (our CanadaHelps page), call us at 604 941 7111, or contact info@tricitytransitions.com

mom hugging daughter

Read more

#PrideMonth: Abuse in LGBTQ+ Relationships

It’s Pride Month, and rainbow-festooned celebrations are occurring around the world. While LGBTQ+ issues are in the spotlight, we want to celebrate diversity and help everyone be their authentic self. Abuse happens in LGBTQ+ relationships too, and people can face unique challenges due to their minority status. It’s something of a silent issue, but there are resources out there to give people the support and safety they deserve.

Source frontgatetickets.com

People often feel unable or scared to reach out for help due to a variety of factors:

  • Isolation from traditional support systems.
  • Lack of dedicated organizations to help LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Heteronormative depictions of domestic abuse, which prevent people from recognizing the signs.

On top of threats of physical and emotional abuse, a specific set of issues can arise in abusive LGBTQ+ relationships. Some examples include:

  • Fear of isolation from the community for speaking out against a fellow community member.
  • Threats of “outing” the victim if their sexual orientation or gender identity is not already publicly known.
  • The bullied becoming the bully, as the abuser may have experienced discrimination in the past.

Despite these added barriers, there is lots of information and support to be found.

If you are an LGBTQ+ person experiencing abuse, know that:

  • Your experience is valid and you deserve to be heard.
  • You are worthy of respect, safety, and love.
  • Support is out there. You are not alone.

You can find various national and province-specific LGBTQ+ hotlines at http://www.saravyc.ubc.ca/reports-resources/links/resources-for-trans-youth-allies/crisis-lines-for-lgbtq-youth/

A guide to domestic abuse and trans safety issues (including B.C. resources): http://qmunity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Trans_folk_relationship_safety_website_version.pdf

How to support LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing domestic violence: http://qmunity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Supporting_LGBTQ_survivors_Digital_Draft_3_MOBILE.pdf

"Love wins" flashing on a rainbow background. Love is love, pride, LGBT

Source: Jess Chen at jess-chen.com/animations

Sources

http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/lgbt-abuse/
http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/abusive-lgbtq-relationships/
https://www.breakthecycle.org/blog/how-help-lgbtq-persons-abusive-relationships
Paige Leach

Read more

Celebrate Summer with JAK’s and Tri-City Transitions

Tri-City Transitions and JAK’S Beer, Wine, Spirits are teaming up to raise money for the vulnerable women and children of the Tri-Cities.

The Tri-City Transitions Society provides a variety of housing and health solutions to vulnerable women and children. “We have been supporting the Tri-Cities community since 1975, and help over 1500 women and children each year” says Carol Metz Murray, Executive Director. “We always welcome community and corporate support of our charity.”

On Saturday, June 23rd, JAKS will be celebrating summer at 1410 Parkway Boulevard and 3025 Lougheed Highway and will donate 10% of the proceeds to Tri-City Transitions. “We are proud corporate citizens of Tri-Cities and are pleased to help such a worthy charity” says Mike McKee, Community Outreach partner of JAK’S Beer, Wine, Spirits.

JAK’S Beer, Wine, Spirits offers BC’s best selections of local craft beer, wines and spirits. “Our summer celebration will highlight all the amazing products produced right here in BC. We will have lots of products to sample and prizes. Our grand prize is a wine tour in the Okanagan.”

For more information on donating to Tri-City Transitions visit www.tricitytransitions.com
For more information on our Summer Celebration visit www.JAKS.com

Read more

5 Qualities of Healthy Relationships

“A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better.” – Mandy Hale

It can be easy to overlook these basic principles when you’re arguing over who should take the garbage out, but sometimes it’s worth assessing the health of your relationship. All relationships, romantic or not, begin by building upon a foundation of trust and respect.

Here are five qualities that healthy relationships have in common:

Communication

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
    • Be your own advocate!
  • Access outside resources if you need to.
    • Sometimes you can’t resolve problems by yourself. A therapist or counselor can be an impartial sounding board.
  • Address problems directly instead of letting resentment grow.
    • Be straightforward but not hurtful when bringing up issues. Respectful language goes a long way.
  • Don’t presume to know how your partner is feeling.
    • Even if you’ve been dropping hints about your true feelings… They’re not a mind reader!

Having Mutual Respect

  • Compromise
    • You may have to meet them halfway on issues that are important to them.
  • Value each other’s opinions and show it by actively listening.
    • Avoid thinking of your own response while they’re talking.
    • Acknowledge their feelings and ask for clarification if needed.

Knowing Your Self-Worth

  • Respect yourself- don’t settle for less than you deserve!
  • Make sure your partner respects you.
    • Educate yourself on the signs of abuse.
    • Some common signs of abuse include manipulative behaviour (such as making false accusations), limiting your access to your own finances, and isolating you from family and friends.
    • If you think your relationship might be unhealthy, check out this spectrum of healthy to abusive relationships.
  • Believe that you are worthy of love.
  • Recognize when you should remove yourself from a situation.

Avoiding Codependency

  • Make sure you maintain your own hobbies and social life.
    • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Spending time apart will improve your time together.

Acknowledging Limitations

  • It’s not your responsibility to “fix” anyone.
    • Your partner has to want to change- you can’t force them to make improvements in their life.
  • Manage your expectations.
    • Nobody’s perfect! There will be challenges to overcome in every relationship.
  • Establish boundaries.
    • Discuss what you each want your relationship to look like.
    • “Consent is a safe, open and ongoing conversation about what both people are comfortable with and actively want to experience together” (Source)
    • Your partner does not have ownership of your body. Click for more info on consent

 

Now you know more about maintaining a healthy relationship! Hopefully these tips come in handy next time you’re arguing over what movie to watch on Friday night.

Note: If you suspect your relationship might be unhealthy or abusive, don’t hesitate to call us (Tri-City Transitions Society) at 604 941 7111

Read more

Empower Youth by Supporting The Home Depot’s Orange Door Project

We are proud to partner with The Home Depot Canada Foundation again in The Orange Door Project. By purchasing a $2 paper door, customers will help homeless youth get the housing, support and hope they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives.

From now until June 24th, all funds raised at the Coquitlam Home Depot store will support Tri-City Transitions. Tri-City Transitions’ programming empowers families, helping youth impacted by domestic violence.

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is committed to ending youth homelessness, pledging to invest $20 million over five years through The Orange Door Project. Encourage your friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues to support the campaign today!

Learn more at orangedoorproject.ca.

A Home Depot employee holding an Orange Door (being sold to support homeless youth).

Image credit: The Home Depot Sault Ste. Marie/Sault Online News, 2017. www.saultonline.com/2017/07/the-orange-door-project-2017/

Read more

How The Home Depot Canada Foundation is helping put an end to youth homelessness with “Paper Doors”

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is committed to ending youth homelessness, pledging to invest $20 million over five years through The Orange Door Project. This initiative will give homeless youth the housing, support and hope they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives.

One component of The Orange Door Project is The Home Depot’s national fundraising campaign.  From now until July 2, The Home Depot customers can buy a $2 paper door in support of a local youth-focused housing charity.

All funds raised at the Port Coquitlam Home Depot store during the campaign will support TRI-CITY TRANSITIONS.

Encourage your friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues to support the campaign today!

Learn more at orangedoorproject.ca.

Read more

Fentanyl Safety Information

With everything going on in the news lately we felt it would be good to share this with our community:

https://www.fentanylsafety.com/

Please share this information so more people can be aware and stay safe!

Read more

Parallel Parenting – Co-Parenting Stronger

News Release

For Immediate Release

PARALLEL PARENTING – CO-PARENTING STRONGER – February 3, 2017

Tri-City Transitions Society has launched a Parallel Parenting – Co-Parenting Stronger Program focused on reducing conflict between parents by dramatically altering the way parents communicate between themselves in front of their children.

Divorce doesn’t mess kids up – conflict does.  Children need their parents to continue to contribute to their care and upbringing after separation.  Further, children have the right to expect their parents and caregivers to work together, whenever possible, to ensure the child’s needs are met.

PARALLEL PARENTING – CO-PARENTING STRONGER supplements the Province’s “Parenting After Separation” program, focused on ‘creating’ and ‘implementing’ RESPECTFUL COMMUNICATION between parents in the BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.

Parents learn about their legal rights and obligations and will develop a parenting agreement which will serve as a blue print for future, respectful communication.

“Parallel parenting” is defined as “parenting independently from each other.”  Altering communication patterns may shift their attitudes and reduce conflict, allowing their child to develop a healthy relationship with each parent, without being caught in the middle.

The project includes a series of four 2-hour workshops; each workshop session includes a co-hort of Moms and Dads. Couples will be separated in the workshops. Two professional/mediation/ facilitators, trained in family dynamics will lead each group. Participants will also draft a parenting agreement with the assistance of mediators.

The target population for the workshops is parents in continuing conflict drawing participants from the   Fraser Health Authority region and Provincial Court jurisdictions within Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and the Supreme Court in New Westminster.

For more information please contact Carol Metz Murray 604 941 7111

E: info@tricitytransitions.com.

-30-

Read more

Sarah’s Story

Here is a story about a woman and her family:

Sarah lived in a nice home in an up-scale neighbourhood.  She enjoyed the sense of community she found there.  But, all was not well in her world.  According to her husband, Sarah couldn’t do anything right, ever, he yelled at her regularly and would physically strike out at her, leaving his mark.

Sarah knew at some level that something was terribly wrong.  She felt anxious, fearful and alone.  She eventually came to realize that the situation was aggressively abusive, after she required medical care after emergency services were called.  Her husband could not or would not change his thinking about what he saw as Sarah’s inadequacies.  She began to see that he enjoyed getting his own way by being cruel, insulting, hurtful and abusive.  Sarah began to realize that she needed to leave – for her own safety, security, sanity and for the protection of her children who were witnesses to the escalating abuse and negativity in the home and beginning to act out the behaviours they were seeing.  One day she realized that she had a choice to make, not one she wanted to make because she wanted to keep the family together, in fact tradition demanded it, yet she knew that if she stayed she would die.

Sarah isn’t a real person.  However she could be your neighbour, your friend, your sister, your aunt.  Her story is based on a compilation of her stories told at “Joy’s Place“, a transition house in the Tri-Cities for women and children fleeing violence.

Women like Sarah come to Joy’s Place regularly.  We welcome them with open arms, compassion, empathy, non-judgement and open hearts.  Support workers explain how the house runs: families are given as much privacy as possible but must be willing to accommodate the needs of others.  Safety rules, security including location confidentiality, are of utmost importance. Clients are encouraged to thing of the house as their home for as long as they stay.

Read more

A Story of Abuse (Son & Mom Perspective)

Son:
Twelve years ago, my Dad left my Mom for another woman. The divorce was a huge blow to my Mom’s self-esteem despite how successful and independent she was in life. After 3 years of moping around the house and feeling sorry for herself, Mom finally mustered the courage to get back into the dating world. I was really happy for her when she met Daniel, a handsome man who displayed an assertive, yet caring personality who made my Mom laugh again. During the first year of their relationship, Mom became happier and went back to her confident old self. When I moved out for college, I thought that I didn’t have to worry about her anymore and that Daniel would maintain her happiness.

During the second of year of college, Mom started to delay my monthly visits.  I didn’t think any of it at the time and just thought that she was busy with the new man in her life. She used to call me 3 times a week to chat and see how things were going. We had a very close relationship and have always spoken our minds openly to each other. However, the calls became less frequent and whenever I asked how she and Daniel were doing, her answers became short and distanced. Sometimes I would receive random hang-up calls from her or tearful “I miss you” messages. Every time I asked how things were going with her, she’d assure me that she was fine. I figured that she probably just missed having her favourite son around the house.

One day, I stopped by Mom’s house without calling first since I was in the area and needed to pick up an item from my bedroom.  As I approached the house, I saw Daniel screech his car out of the driveway, speeding away in the opposite direction. Entering the house, I saw a huge mess in the dining room with turned over chairs and broken plates shattered across the floor. Sobbing in the corner of the kitchen was Mom, curled up in a tight ball with bruises and cuts on her head and arms. I tried to bring her to the hospital but she wouldn’t let me. Mom told me that it was the first time that she and Daniel had an argument like this and that it was her fault. She convinced me that there was nothing to worry about and it wouldn’t happen again.

Once in a while, I would try to have heart-to-heart talks with my Mom but every time I asked her about Daniel, she would change the subject or shutdown completely. Mom continued to defend Daniel for their fights and believed that she was at fault for irritating him or instigating arguments. A few times, she tried to end the relationship but she would falter and believed he would change every time he apologized. I didn’t want her to stop confiding in me so I tried to comfort her and listened anytime she wanted to bring up her relationship with Daniel.

Another year passed and my Mom became increasingly anxious, insecure and unhappy. She also became clumsier and often had cuts or bruises on her body from tripping or falling. I had to wait for her calls rather than calling her myself because Daniel didn’t like her talking to people often. She seemed nervous around Daniel and was overly accommodating to him during my visits. A few times, I witnessed her on the phone with Daniel, apologizing and pleading him not to leave her. It made me suddenly realize how drastically her personality had changed; from a charming, confident person to a fearful and insecure woman. I began to suspect that her bruises and cuts were not solely due to her clumsiness.

I decided to confront Daniel about their relationship. He denied all of my accusations and stormed out of the room. I tried to convince Mom to leave him, thinking that Daniel had left the house. Instead, Daniel came back, pushed me to the ground and began pounding my face. I heard Mom screaming and begging him to stop but I blacked out soon after.

When I regained consciousness, I was laying on a hospital bed with bandages covering half my face. Mom was sitting beside me with her hands clasped over mine. She apologized for not listening to me earlier and explained that after watching Daniel beat me, she finally “woke up” to what was happening to her and dialed 911 for help.

Mom:
During my relationship with Daniel, I tried to cope by telling myself that I was the one who needed to change. The divorce with my ex-husband made me lose my self-confidence and I didn’t want to lose another man in my life because I was undesirable for whatever reason. Daniel constantly blamed me for our fights and I knew deep down that his behaviour was wrong but I couldn’t bring myself to end the relationship. I’ve always been a proud and successful woman who rarely needed the help of others. Ironically, to ask for help would be another blow to my self-esteem. I finally realized that having the support of others was not a weakness on my part after watching Daniel beat my son up.

If others find themselves in my type of situation, I would tell them this: Always follow your gut instinct and believe that you deserve better. No matter how hard things get, no one deserves to live in terror. Never believe the abuser that you are at fault.

If you know or are someone who is in an abusive relationship, please contact Tri-City Transitions at 604-941-7111 or email info@tricitytransitions.com

Read more