In New Brunswick, one in four women is affected by domestic violence and the province has the third-highest rate in the country for violent crimes against women.
It’s November, Domestic Violence Awareness month, and we want to give you some information, tools and support to help you recognize domestic abuse (because it can be hard) and get the help you need - or get help for someone you know.
1. Read our blog post: Is this Story of Domestic Abuse Hitting Home?
This series is important because many people do not understand how destructive verbal and mental abuse is - the constant promise of change, the apologies and because women leaving an abuser often have children and limited or no income outside of their partners, leaving means being unable to provide for basic needs of survival. Leaving these relationships also threatens your attachment system; many of us have never learned how to stand alone and feel ok and safe on our own. It can feel incredibly scary to walk away from a relationship as they do provide a sense of safety and security despite being unhealthy in many respects.
Sometimes it is hard to know if you should stay or leave. The cycle of violence makes it so things don’t always feel bad. It's a predictable pattern that can become very familiar to our brain.
Here are a few clues that your relationship is worth fighting for...
2. Listen to Welcome to Paradise - the podcast Ready to reveal her longest-held secret, long-time CBC reporter, Anna Maria Tremonti, talks to her therapist about a trauma from 40 years ago that’s the source of shame and self-loathing. She’s reported on gender-based violence many times as a journalist, including from war zones – but this time, she’s telling her own story. In her early 20s, she fell in love with a man who seemed worldly and charming. Behind closed doors he was incredibly violent. They were only married for a year but the consequences of the abuse have lasted a lifetime. This is the first time Anna Maria has told anyone—including family or close friends—the details of what she endured. Working with her therapist, she reveals the intimate details of a past she’s kept to herself for most of her life. The result is a profoundly intimate portrait of a powerful woman confronting the source of tremendous pain and trauma and, remarkably, freeing herself from a life-long sense of shame.
3. Reach out to Local Saint John Resources
There are local shelters you can reach out to for questions, support or guidance to resources if you are in an abusive relationship.
24-hour Distress Line: 506.634.7570
Text Only Option: 506.566.6667
Hestia House provides shelter and support for up to 24 women and their children. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with full-time and part-time staff available to help you. There is a 24-hour distress line that you can call for support or to discuss your safety options.
4. Check in!
If you suspect that someone that you know is struggling in an unhealthy relationship, please check in on them. You could save a life.
We know violence often escalates in isolation. You can miss the red flags. We all have a role to play in this - unhealthy relationships are all around us.
5. We can help. If you or someone you know is affected by intimate partner violence, we can help. We have therapists who specialize in unhealthy relationships, child custody challenges within these relationships and can provide support and no pressure guidance.
No insurance? No problem! We have low-cost and free counselling alternatives so you can get the help and guidance you need.
Let’s end the silence.
We will not judge you for staying, we will educate, empower and gently guide you towards a life with dignity and respect and faith in yourself. We will help you break the silence
We're here if you want to talk :) Take the first step and call us for an appointment ...(506) 651-1239 www.lauragatien.com