HATE, GENDER-BASED & FAMILY VIOLENCE
The Issue: haTE, GENDER-BASED & FAMILY VIOLENCE
Safety and wellbeing is as much a basic need as shelter or food. Often times it is taken as a given. For many members of our community, it is not. A lack of safety looks different across the community, it is women and families experiencing domestic violence, 2SLGBTQ+ community members experiencing homophobia and transphobia, community members facing discrimination and hateful messages, or newcomers and refugees being told to go home. Not feeling safe, facing physical violence, sexual assault, or verbal/emotional harassment impacts our wellbeing and ability to participate in our community in the ways that are meaningful to us. Give to support programs and services to give people the practical supports they need to address their safety and wellbeing like culturally sensitive family and child counselling, safe spaces and warm meals for families escaping domestic violence, refugee and immigration supports, supports for survivors of sexual assault, advocacy for change within our community, and so much more.
Hate, Gender-based & Family Violence
How we help
Community safety is as much a basic need as shelter or food. For many members of our community, feeling unsafe is a reality; it is women and families experiencing intimate partner or family violence, 2SLGBTQ+ community members experiencing homophobia and transphobia, or event community members facing discrimination and hateful messages. Not feeling safe, facing physical violence, sexual assault, or verbal/emotional harassment impacts our wellbeing. Caring for the safety and wellbeing of the community is a critical investment for United Way WRC. In 2022 we funded 4 frontline organizations offering everything from support for:
- Those experiencing gender-based or family violence (the YWCA Cambridge, Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region)
- The work being done by Healing of the 7 Generations for the First Nations, Metis and Indigenous community members.
- DeafBlind Ontario’s Intervenor Services in Waterloo Region, providing specialized communications services and supports.
Hate, gender-based & family violence
The following are examples of impact of your donations from funded organizations and their programs.
- Deafblind Ontario - 14 individuals accessed intervenor services through DeafBlind Ontario in the last 3 months of 2022.
- Women’s Crisis Services Waterloo Region - 145 shelter residents in the past 6 months.
- The Healing of the 7 Generations - The team has successfully assisted Family and Children Services with creating dialogue with other stakeholders regarding Bill C-92 and creating intervention plans to prevent the removal of First Nations Metis & Indigenous children from their homes.
- Women’s Crisis Services Waterloo Region - 966 Support line calls to Women’s Crisis Services from individuals experiencing intimate partner or family violence.
- YWCA - 1200 young people accessed programming in the last 6 months. The YWCA of Cambridge aims to create a safer community by advocating for those experiencing gender-based violence and the needs of cis and trans women and girls, gender-diverse and Two-Spirit people.
- “Without this funding we would not have the necessary funds to maintain all emergency shelter beds or expand and grow our programming which is needed during a time when women and children are coming to us with more complex needs than ever before. The needs of women accessing our services has only grown due to the pandemic, so lack of funding would not allow us to grow, or add and adapt our programming for their needs. We have also recently purchased and opened our new transitional housing building, however the expenses to get it up and running for women and children has been more than anticipated.” - Women’s Crisis Services Waterloo Region
- “The W allows us the visibility and reach within the community to support program participants with identified barriers, advocate for needs and create a safer community by creating awareness regarding gender-based violence and the needs of cis and trans women and girls, gender-diverse and Two-Spirit people…[United Way] funding directly supports our community program space.” - YWCA
After arriving in Canada for one month, Sara and her two children were connected to Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region due to intimate partner violence. They fled to Kitchener following verbal abuse and threats of finding and killing her with a knife if she left the marriage. They stayed for 7 months in Haven House before accessing the Transitional Housing Program at Aspen Place.
Since moving into their own unit through the transitional housing program, Sara has been successful at maintaining her full-time studies at Conestoga College, obtaining her G1 license, settling into a new community and being a single parent without ongoing staff supports. With time and safety, Sara has become re-empowered and is a great self-advocate. She has been accessing community programs such as food banks, community centres, and physical activity programs. Sara has also been a successful recipient of post-secondary bursary program through Women’s Crisis Services – Moving Forward Scholarship. Through insightful applications, Sara has been awarded $1000.00 to assist with her studies.
When asked about her experience, Sara said that at first, “I was feeling afraid because it’s the first time being alone. I used to make Emily help me with everything, now I am feeling good and make decisions alone. Before I didn’t do anything myself. I was dependent on others now I’m independent.
My children are very happy with the move to our own apartment. I enjoy having my friends come over, I can study in my own place. I have changed everything in my life since leaving the shelter. Since studying English, I have become very social and making connections. I am comfortable now around others and have confidence. Before, I didn’t talk to anyone or make friends. I am not feeling quite ready to move out on my own but I am working towards this. There are still things I want to learn.”