Tuesday afternoon I had the opportunity to connect with a friend that I hadn't seen since we lived together at a women's shelter two years ago. There were smiles at first, but soon the tears flowed as she started to talk about her loneliness and worries, especially about the effect of Domestic Violence on her children. My heart went out to her. My friend struggles with many of the same issues that so many of us do, but with the added difficulty that English is her second language. She had accessed the legal advocate service offered through the shelter, but other than that she was on her own. I gave her the web address to check out 1 in Four.
If you have been following the growth and progress of this website over the last two months, you know that we are absolutely committed to the concept of 'survivors for survivors': we get it, we have been there, are in the middle of it or know it is just around the corner... Domestic Violence is a common language. We created this site so that it would help to bridge the gap between women and services already in place to support them. Women like my friend from the other day - she had been in a shelter for reasons of Domestic Violence, had been able to get housing and some legal advocate support but then what? She is alone.
Sometimes the best resources can be a phone call away and you may have the number right in front of you, but there is this fear about reaching out. What are they going to be like? What if they ask me a question I can't answer? Will they call my abuser and tell him I called? Will they call Children's Aid on me if I tell them I am having a hard time?
We see this website as kind of like that good friend, who you can call up and say..."I want to get some counseling for my kids but I don't know where to start. What would you suggest?" We can be trusted to let you know and we definitely won't call your abuser (by the way, none of the agencies listed on this site would do that either). We know that reaching out can be scary, especially if you are depressed. We know that even when you know you need help, getting that help can seem like such a huge task that it's too much to even get started. Let us help point you in the right direction, that is what we are here for.
If you want to ask any questions, you can do so anonymously or by using your real name. Visit the Forum section and post a question there or comment directly under a blog post... if everything is just too confusing then you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, if it helps, I could have done with a website like this about a year and a half ago. I was isolated and alone, few friends and no family nearby. I knew I needed help but I didn't know where to go. A good friend set me on the right path and it made all the difference.by