Mother’s Day Campaign
On Mother’s Day, we celebrate the strong women who raised and supported us through life’s ups and downs.
For mothers experiencing domestic violence, the concept of strength takes on extra meaning.
It takes strength to leave an abusive partner.
It takes strength to leave the home where you have built your family.
It takes strength to start over again.
With your help, every year hundreds of women across Niagara find that strength. This is the story of one of those women.
When I left my ex-husband, I felt like I had nowhere to go. My family lived in Alberta and, due to the abuse I had suffered, I was extremely isolated. I was not allowed to work or have friends, and my ex-husband limited my communication with my family.
Prior to deciding to leave the relationship, I called the Women’s Place support line multiple times. Each time I called, they were understanding and gave me options. I never felt pressured by them to leave. It was clear that they were worried about my daughter and me, and did not judge me for the situation I was in.
Leaving was difficult because I felt trapped and alone. My daughter and I suffered through physical, mental and verbal abuse every day. Twice my ex-husband had insisted that I take antidepressants so that I would be more agreeable at home. By the time I left, I actually believed I was worthless and crazy.
When my daughter and I arrived at Nova House, the staff made every effort to make us feel safe and comfortable. They provided us with many resources. They helped us to find a home. They arranged for me to meet with a lawyer. They provided transportation when I needed it. Most importantly, however, they provided counselling and information about healthy relationships.
The people I met at Nova House played a fundamental role in my success. The other women staying at the shelter became like family, and the staff was always there to support me in times of need and to celebrate with me in times of victory. There are many things Women’s Place does to help women in need, but nothing compares with the genuine human compassion of their staff.
My biggest breakthrough came when one staff member asked me, “Weren’t you scared when you were living with your husband?” I realized that I hadn’t had time to be scared because I was too focused on surviving and protecting my daughter.
My daughter celebrated her fifth birthday while at Nova House, and I cried when I got the call that a home had been found for us. Without the support of Women’s Place, I would have remained in my situation. Since being liberated through their kindness, I have returned to college to study Child and Youth Care. I have met a wonderful man who treats my daughter and me with love and dignity, and my daughter finally has a home where she can feel safe and loved.
I cannot thank Women’s Place enough for their help, and urge any woman who thinks she might be in need of their services to call.
Supported by the kindness of Women’s Place donors, this mother found the strength to make a better life for herself and her daughter.
This Mother’s Day, celebrate the strength of your mother or another special woman in your life by making a donation to Women’s Place. Your donation will ensure that women who find the strength to leave an abusive partner will continue find the support they need.