Rethinking the stereotypes

Nov 23, 2013 / 5:00 am
I don’t fit the stereotype of an abused woman. At least not the one I always carried around in my head. I’m university educated. A respected professional and busy mom. From the outside looking in, it probably seemed I had it all: A successful husband, a beautiful home, great kids, my...

Immigrant women

Oct 12, 2013 / 5:00 am
For a woman who is impacted by family violence and abuse, recognizing that they are experiencing abuse and taking the step of reaching out for help can be a frightening and challenging process. For an immigrant woman, the process is even more daunting. The following story is one woman’s...

Violence Against Women Week

Apr 20, 2013 / 5:00 am
The third week of April has been designated as Prevention of Violence Against Women Week in British Columbia. It is a week set aside to focus attention on the issue of family violence and on the abuse experienced by women and their children in our community. It is a week to encourage a community...

Home not always 'safe'

Dec 23, 2012 / 5:00 am
As Christmas approaches, the usual bustle at the Kelowna Women’s Shelter is multiplied by a flurry of holiday preparations. Like most households at this time of year, whatever else may be happening, a major focus is on planning and preparation: for holiday meals, parties, a tree, decorations,...

Dynamic shelter support groups

Oct 19, 2012 / 5:00 am
A door opens at the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and women stream from a sun lit room, resource materials in hand. They are laughing and chatting with each other. Some pause to exchange phone numbers. Many are carrying donated toiletry or clothing items. Some move toward the Childcare area to...

Helping a friend

Jun 17, 2012 / 5:00 am
Recent stats confirm that family violence is an issue of concern, even here in our lovely valley. Given this fact, there is the very real likelihood that it may impact each of us; if not personally, then by affecting someone we care about or with whom we come in contact. The questions arise,...

Warning signs

Apr 8, 2012 / 5:00 am
She touches her bruised cheek gingerly and says softly, “It was so good in the beginning! I never thought it would end like this.” She has just fled an abusive relationship following a vicious assault. She tells the story of the relationship softly, sadly. She talks of its exciting,...

Fleeing abuse

Feb 11, 2012 / 5:00 am
“I just can’t live like this anymore and I can’t let my kids go through it either.” The woman's voice reflects a mixture of desperation and determination. “I know I have to do something but I need help.” When a woman impacted by family violence and abuse...

Anticipating a 'real' Christmas

Dec 15, 2011 / 5:00 am
“I hope we don’t ever go back home - and I’m definitely not leaving before Christmas,” a young boy commented fervently a Christmas season or two ago. He and his mom and siblings were staying at the Kelowna Women’s Shelter after another incident of family violence that...

Things can be different

Nov 19, 2011 / 5:00 am
She called out to me at the beach. She was there with her children – and her “new” partner. Not so new, she smiled, explaining that they’d met almost 10 years ago now, been married eight, and had two children together, plus the two from her previous relationship. They were...

Do I stay or leave?

Oct 20, 2011 / 5:00 am
What does a woman do when she realizes that her physical and emotional safety, or that of her children, is at risk, not on the streets, but within their own home? What does she do when the danger comes, not from a menacing stranger “out there”, but rather from an intimate partner, her...

Family violence and abuse

Sep 15, 2011 / 5:00 am
Imagine rising early to prepare for an important presentation at the office; weeks of effort resting on the quality of this presentation. Imagine the nervous anticipation, and your desire to present calm, confidence. Now imagine yourself laying out your “power suit” - and beginning to...

Abuse is never okay

Jul 8, 2011 / 5:00 am
The phone rings and a voice, bordering on tears, says hesitantly, “I was wondering if I could talk to someone?” She hastens to add, “I don’t want to waste your time if you’re busy. It’s not like I’m being abused or anything, I just have a few...

Bullies have many faces

Jun 5, 2011 / 5:00 am
Bullies have many faces; but whether they dominate the schoolyard, the workplace, the hockey arena or the family dinner table the impact on a targeted child or image-sensitive teen is often swift and devastating, with: terror, depression, loss of self-esteem, even thoughts of...

Children impacted by family violence

May 6, 2011 / 5:00 am
While children may be the direct victims of family violence, they are almost always indirect victims, traumatized by seeing their mother beaten, or by the horror of hearing her screams of pain or their father’s shouted threats. Children impacted by family violence have huddled in...
About the Author

April, 2011 marks the 31st anniversary of the day the Kelowna Women’s Shelter opened its’ doors to offer counselling, support and a safe residence for women and children whose lives have been impacted by family violence, abuse and significant crisis. The Kelowna Women’s Shelter is a place of refuge for women who are not safe in their own homes, women who have been beaten, traumatized, threatened, and have fled in terror from a partner. Our staff and volunteers provide services to women and children in the area boundaried by Oyama to the North and Peachland to the South. For more information visit kelownawomensshelter.ca or call 250-763-1040

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.