Day 4: Leave? Easier Said Than Done

November 28, 2015, by Jessica Howard, 1 Comment

Woman looking at cameraIt’s one thing to come to terms with being in an abusive relationship.

It’s another to find a safe way out of that relationship when you have five young children.

For Christina*, who shared her story with SHE magazine, it required a huge leap over a chasm of uncertainties. There were safety, financial, legal, and emotional issues to consider as she tried to get through each day.

How can I end our marriage? What if he comes after me? How will I support the children? What if they miss their dad?

But she did eventually land on the other side. She now volunteers at a crisis line, supporting women facing many familiar questions and helping them see that there is hope.

Christina’s story powerfully illustrates the whirlwind of fears and uncertainties faced by survivors of abuse. And her story is one of thousands. In one year in Canada, about 78,000 women report intimate partner violence to police.

For many women, there is often a heart-wrenching choice to make between violence and poverty. This is why supports and services for survivors of domestic violence are so important. To be able to leave abusive situations safely and permanently, many women need help.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation supports shelters across the country, which help women plan a safe exit for themselves and their children, and offer access to the emergency refuge and counselling that these families need as they move forward.

To read Christina’s story and learn more about shelter services, read Leave? Easier Said Than Done.

*Name has been changed.

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Example of safety plan

Do you have a particular safety plan you have found useful when working with women experiencing domestic violence? I am discussing safety plans in my course and would like to provide a variety of examples of such.

Thank you
Tracey A. Bone, MSW, PhD, RSW
Faculty of Social Work, University of manitoba

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