A workshop organized by the Cariboo Friendship Society (CFS) recently explained how business owners can handle disclosure and help someone who is experiencing domestic violence.
Held at The Hearth Restaurant on Wednesday, April 20, the evening event featured presentations from CFS, Axis Family Resources, Canadian Mental Health Association, Women’s Contact Society and Northern Indigenous Victim Services. Shuswap Tribal Council.
“Any organization can become a safe place,” said Tammy Garreau, social programs supervisor at CFS, welcoming everyone. She then handed out red dress stickers with a design created by artist Satsi Naziel for people to put in their windows.
Garreau said CFS offered the awareness training in 2019, but not since due to COVID.
Lori Winters, coordinator of the PEACE program, which stands for Prevention Education Advocacy Counseling and Empowerment, shared statistics for the Chiwid Transition House, operated by CFS in Williams Lake.
Between April 2021 and March 31, 2022, the facility housed 84 women and 32 children.
“In one year, we had 784 beds for women and 351 beds for children,” she said, adding that due to COVID-19 protocols the beds were half full.
In addition, 8,109 meals were provided to women and children and crisis information and referrals were made by telephone 349 times.
Presenting global statistics, Winters said that 81,000 women and girls were killed in 2020 and around 47,000 of them died at the hands of an intimate partner or family member, which equates to a woman or girl killed every 11 minutes in their home.
During COVID-19, calls to helplines have increased fivefold in some countries, while other countries have reported a decrease in the number of calls, although this may be due to limited access to services.
Each presenter also had a table with brochures and contact information.
Sunnie Dickinson moved from Victoria and works as a victim services worker for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Sharing a chart that depicts a typical cycle of abuse, she said it starts with tension building, moving to an incident, then reconciliation followed by a period of calm.
She listed different types of abuse such as emotional and psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, property abuse, and cultural or spiritual abuse.
Through a presentation called Red Flags, Alana Sand, who stops the violence worker with Axis Family Resources, outlined some of the things people should be aware of.
Guilt trips, being secretive, wanting to control social media passwords, calling names or trying to make another person feel stupid are not signs of a healthy relationship, he said. she declared.
Justeen Sellars of Indigenous Victim Services of the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, covered the subject of consent and a video titled Tea and consent.
“Consent is an agreement between two people to engage in an activity: it occurs when you ask or give permission to do something.”
Lindalee Anthony, Women’s Advisor and Advocate with the Women’s Contact Society, listed many factors that make disclosure difficult.
They range from embarrassment to thinking you won’t be believed or fearing for the safety of children and families.
It’s common for survivors to have a fight, flight, or block reaction and be unclear about the details.
“Tell the survivor you’re glad they told you and let them lead the conversation,” she suggested.
It’s also important to find out who their supporters are, encourage them to seek medical assistance if needed, and help connect them to resources.
“If they choose to return, encourage them or help them come up with a safety plan.”
domestic violenceWilliams Lake