By Jasminee Sahoye.
A refuge away from home for women facing violence.
The statistics are compelling! One in three women in Canada are have experienced violence at the hands of a current or past marital partner and 51% of Canadian women reported to have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
What is even more compelling is that an organization, Interim Place that serves the Peel Region, has assisted well over 38,000 women and children find safety, heal and build new lives free from violence.
Interim Place has been providing shelter and support services for women and their children who are fleeing violence in the Peel Region for over 30 years.
Last Saturday, the organization hosted its 2nd annual fundraiser – Rays of Hope gala – to support its continued work and recognize women advocates that are making a difference around the world to help End Violence Against Women.
It also presented the Woman of Courage award to Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans for her contributions to society as the first woman Chief of Police in Peel. “Her belief towards social change and the example that she have set for women to aspire to be in leadership roles within a male dominated industry is commendable,” Interim Place states.
A highlight of the event was the story shared by Sabrina Wright, who at a young age, along with her mother and sibling, had to sought temporary at Interim Place due to domestic violence.
Sharon Floyd, Executive Director of Interim Place says “It is so difficult to comprehend that every six days, a woman in Canada loses her life at the hands of an intimate partner.
With these alarming numbers, it is necessary for all of us to think about what it is that we can do as individuals, to make a change in our community on the issue of violence against women.
Only 21 days into 2014 and we were forced to face the harsh reality of another mother, someones daughter, Anita Summan who lost her life to violence here in Peel. Her friend, who was also attacked and her children’s lives will never be the same. A person’s home is where they should feel the safest and most secure not a place where they feel the most vulnerable and alone.
This is why it is important to have shelters and support services like Interim Place for women and their children who are experiencing violence to go to for safety and support.”
According to Canadian Women’s Foundation, on any given day in Canada, more than 3,000 women along with their 2,500 children are living in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.
Interim Place operates two emergency shelters for women facing violence. Its 24-hour emergency shelters provide up to 54 beds in a safe, secure confidential setting where women, with or without children, can stay up to 4 months. Anyone in crisis can call 905-676-8515 or 905-403-0864 Interim Place helps women in the community who are currently experiencing or have experienced violence and abuse. The program is available to all women whether they have previously resided at the shelter or have remained in the community. “We provide follow-up after care support, outreach services and work in partnership with many agencies within the region of Peel,” the organization states.
For more information, please visit www.interimplace.com