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Dating Safely 101: Preparation

This is a 3-part blog series on dating safely.  We invite you to read the blogs on preparing for the date; during the date; and after the date and provide your feedback by posting a comment below the article. If you’d like to see a particular topic on the blog, feel free to suggest one to us!

Dating Safely 101: Preparation

Dating involves trial and error, and in the game of love there are sometimes more fumbles than successes. But getting yourself out of your comfort zone can help you meet some incredible people. Thankfully, you can also take steps before, during, and after your date to help you have the best experience possible.

Couple walking on a date in Paris

Peter Bernik

You’ve texted your friends. You’ve planned your outfit. You’ve shaved. What else can you do to ensure your date goes off without a hitch? Scroll through your date’s Instagram for an hour? Actually… some research might be a good idea!

Your safety is important!  To set yourself up for success, it’s important to take time to put precautions in place. Consider the following when you plan that dream date:

  • Location, Location, Location
    • Set up the date somewhere public and easy to get to. Choose a location you’re comfortable in and meet early enough that plenty of people will be around.
  • Update others on your whereabouts
    • Always let someone know where you are, when you are going, who you are going with, how they can reach you, and how long you will be away.
  • Check in
    • Have a friend send a check-in text; or, call at a predetermined time in case you need an excuse to leave
    • There are electronic solutions such as “Chelsea Handler: Gotta Go” or eHarmony’s “Bad Date Rescue” (search for these on your app store). These have the ability to send a fake phone call to you.
  • Do your research
    • Google your date and browse your date’s social media profiles (if they have them). It’s important to gather as much information as you can, especially when meeting a stranger.

You’re welcome for the excuse to Google your date. Safety isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, but it is an important consideration! Possibly more important than what shirt you’re wearing, though you might not agree with that when you’re getting ready to leave.

This is the first installment of a three-part series (Read Parts Two and Three here). Check back tomorrow for some strategies to use if things get awkward during your date!

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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

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#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

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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

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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

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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/

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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