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.