New Website for Women in Abusive Relationships

  woman crying)

More and more, it is becoming clear that women who are in abusive relationships are often too frightened to get the help they need — and sometimes the “help” causes more harm than good. They are afraid to leave, afraid to talk to someone, afraid to report to the police. It is no surprise that these women feel hopeless and helpless.  What seems to be a hopeless situation has had some hope thrown into it — in the form of a website that can help those same women access the services they need without putting themselves in further danger. One of the first things they learn is how to clean their browser history so that their abuser cannot see which websites they have been looking at… thereby protecting them in their search for help.

“It’s just a small percentage of the population that experience violence that use services,” said Varcoe, from UBC’s School of Nursing. “There is a vast range of reasons women are afraid to get help. This is a safe, anonymous way to find out what your situation is, make priorities, make a plan and get resources and support.”

For more information: Website for Women in Abusive Relationships

Speaking Out on CBC On the Island

This morning our dynamic duo from our Women’s Services department, Marlene Goley and Candace Stretch, were interviewed by Gregor Craigie (CBC ) about the services provided by The Cridge for women in abusive relationships.  They did an excellent job of identifying the issues and sharing about the variety of options available to women and their children.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here 

Obama and the Grammy Awards

OK — so not everybody loves Obama. I’m sure there will be endless discussion over whether his comments during the Grammy’s were a political maneuver or not — and what he has to gain by making such a public statement about violence against women. The debate will go on and on — but I want to say: who cares what his motives were?  The message went out — loud and clear — that violence against women and girls is never OK.  And that is a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops by every political leader, every community leader, every person. Women and girls do not deserve to be abused under any circumstances. Nor does any person, no matter their gender, race, religion, politics, sexual preference or whatever else makes them different from you or I. We are all in this together —  let’s choose kindness!

Thanks Mr. Obama!

Click here to see Obama’s Speech

 

No Wrong Door

Here at The Cridge we have a “No Wrong Door” approach to services:  if we cannot help, we will support the client to find someone who can. This means having staff who are willing to go the extra mile and make sure that no one who asks for help leaves without some sort of assitance.  Here is a story about that from our Transition House for Women.

We  saw more women experience immigration challenges and threats of deportation in 2014 than ever before in one year.  It seems that the more “reforms” made to the Canadian immigration laws and processes, the more difficult it becomes for immigrant women to leave violent partners.  The public assurances that special allowances will be made for immigrant women fleeing domestic violence just don’t seem to materialize.  These women face having to   stay with their abusive husbands or face deportation because leaving the abuse means having no status.  No status means no eligibility to work legally, receive income assistance, medical benefits, or public education. 

We helped 7 women in 2014 get safe and survive this “no status” limbo.  When we have shared some of these stories of courage and survival with colleagues in the community, the response is always, “It’s a good job they found The Cridge!”  We have been working so hard to help these women survive and stay safe, we forgot that we really have been the “no wrong door” for them.  We are so grateful to be part of an organization that enables us to be on “no wrong door” auto-pilot!

 

Social Enterprise: one perspective

Here at The Cridge, we are starting to talk about social enterprises —  “a social enterprise is a business whose primary purpose is the common good”. Within the Brain Injury Program, there have been several advances made in running a social enterprise for traumatic brain injury survivors, with the goal of giving them meaningful employment for real wages. To this end, we hope to also provide those survivors with the ability to support themselves and be contributing members of society, which also means  a great increase in their emotional and physical well being. It’s a win-win situation!

I’m guessing that the idea of social enterprise is a foreign one for many people — so over the next few weeks, I am going to post some articles and links for you to read that will educate, challenge and possibly surprise you… and hopefully get you thinking about how you can get involved with a social enterprise.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-lynch/social-enterprise-and-the_b_5646091.html?utm_hp_ref=impact&ir=Impact

Sharing Christmas Joy through the Generations

 christmas village 2014

Christmas is time of joy and wonder for children and adults alike.  The lights, the colours and the happy celebration of the birth of a special child fill our hearts with warmth and compassion. 

This year as we prepared to welcome the season and decorate the Child Care Centre we were approached by the grandparent of one of our children.  She wondered if she could share a special gift for the children this year.  For many years her mother in-law had collected and lovingly displayed a tiny Christmas village in her very tiny living room.  Since her passing the village had been kept packed and stored and this year her daughter-in-law lovingly set-it up for our families to enjoy.

The village was set up at the children’s level with the intent that it could be an interactive display.  The children were trusted to move the tiny porcelain pieces around the display.  We would often find Santa on the roof top of a tiny house, the picket fences moved from home to home or a tiny sled in a tree.  The children were trusted with something delicate and in turn treated it with great respect without having to be reminded to “be careful”.

When Grandma returned to pack the village up again all the pieces were there and intact.  The family had been able have the gift of knowing their loved one’s passion had been shared with others.   All the children, including the great grandson of the lady who had so lovingly set up the display in her home year after year for her family, had been able to experience the opportunity to be trusted to interact successfully with something beautiful and delicate.  Grandma shared with us that her mother-in-law would be smiling down on this.   This was a special gift of joy which really celebrated the warmth of the Christmas season and the sharing of love through the generations.                

 

A Christmas blessing from a former client

One of our former Cridge Transition House for Women clients attended the Healthy Relationships luncheon last week, and shared a bit of prose that she wrote in gratitude. I took a few stanzas out to share with you.  A lovely Christmas blessing to us!

“The real miracle of Christmas visited me during my adjusting year 2012!
Lessons taught to me; instilled by strangers, volunteers, and especially workers of The Cridge Centre.
It was MY Christmas, after all the tribulations of many years of silent abuse.
The burdened heart found freedom, the soul replenished so that today Christmas is cherished with continuing hope!
Asking for help is the most precious gift given to me!
Thanks to the management, staff, volunteers, and unknown patrons. Through your dedication and tireless support, we are happy! Merry Christmas”

What is Respitality?

Respitality volunteer preparing baskets for our families

Respitality is one of those wonderful ideas that grew into a vibrant program based on a need that was evident in our community. It is a combination of respite care and hospitality, wrapped up with love, and provided to the families of children with special needs. We have over 450 families registered through the program — they each get 1 night a year to stay in a local hotel and receive a basket full of treats.  For many of our families, this is the only chance they will get all year to get away and have their batteries recharged. We hear over and over again, how grateful the families are — how much they needed and appreciate the break. Parents everywhere can identify with that crazy need sometimes to escape the kids — imagine how hard that would be if your child has special needs that make a regular babysitter impossible. Our families often face exhaustion and isolation — they just need a break. And so, here at The Cridge, we are so thrilled to be able to give them that much deserved break — to bless them with that opportunity to take a breath, relax and know that their child is well cared for. We are also so grateful for the hotels who provide their rooms free of charge, and the local businesses who provide us with gifts and other products with which to pamper our families.

Come and support this amazing program this Wednesday (Dec 3) at our Stuff the Stocking Fundraiser — and give a family a much needed rest. We are stuffing the stocking with checks and cash donations to keep this vital program running for the coming year.

Stuff the Stocking — Grande Lounge at The Cridge Senior’s Centre
8 AM – 11 AM for Refreshments and some holiday cheer!
1307 Hillside Ave.

Our Vital Volunteers

For the past 20 years, The Cridge Transition House for Women (CTHW) has benefited from the wonderful work of volunteers. Over the years, dozens of talented women have volunteered their time at CTHW to offer a listening ear to a woman or child, help with cooking meals and keeping the House tidy, provide transportation to  important appointments, pick up and sort through donations, and countless more tasks!

Our volunteers come with a wide-range of skills, personal experiences and talents to share. The staff team at CTHW includes a volunteer coordinator who recruits, trains and coordinates these volunteers so that they can make use of their unique set of gifts in the work they do with our women and children. Here are just a few snapshots of the vital work that volunteers do at CTHW:

  • Marj has such an encouraging heart. Her favourite thing to do is just sit and chat with the women and children at CTHW, and she can often be found sharing a cup of tea with a resident in the eating area. She is also always willing to offer practical help, and is the first to offer to help a resident cook dinner or do the laundry. A favourite memory of Marj was the time she put on the Raffi Christmas CD and danced around the Christmas tree with all of the children!
  • Our faithful volunteer Evie comes each week on the night before our groceries are delivered. She dutifully goes through our fridges, tosses old leftovers, and creates AMAZING meals out of whatever ingredients remain. Her ability to create something delicious from nothing is such a valuable gift to us. Evie also has a green thumb and can often be found in the backyard, helping to keep the garden alive and the weeds at bay!
  • Melody has been our Wednesday evening volunteer for many years now. As such, she has an essential role in getting our weekly Cobs Bread donation from the storefront to the House. It is a huge job, as there are many many bins full of bread each week that must be picked up, packaged and brought back to CTHW. Because of Melody’s commitment to volunteer, women at CTHW as well as families in our Supportive Transitional Housing are able to access free bread each week.

These are just a few examples of the vital volunteers that give of their time and talents to enhance the lives of women at CTHW. We are so thankful!

 

The Cridge Centre Ride for Refuge

The Cridge Centre for the Family is THRILLED to be the host partner for the first Ride for Refuge in Victoria, BC, taking place October 4, 2014. The Ride for Refuge is a non-competitive family- friendly ride that raises money for charities that support the exploited, vulnerable and displaced.

Will you join us? We need you, and our clients need you too! What could be better than all of us squeezing into our spandex (optional!) and sweating together while raising money for The Cridge Centre for the Family?

BANNER

How You Can Help:

  1. Captain a Team of Riders:

    Team Captains register, choose The Cridge Centre for the Family in the charity list, and recruit 8-12 riders to their teams. Staff, volunteers, clients, friends, family and your church community are all great possible captains or team members. Sign up to be a Team Captain at rideforrefuge.org/register.
  1. Volunteer:

    Most of the volunteer work will be on the day of the ride. We will need people for the welcome, registration, food service and route safety teams. We also need volunteers for the route and promotion teams in the 6-8 weeks prior to the ride.
    Sign up to Volunteer at rideforrefuge.org/volunteer.
  2. Sponsor:

    Event sponsors ensure that every penny donated goes to essential services provided by the many charitable partners of the ride. Costs such as lunch, rest stop snacks, port-a-potty rentals and security team fees are all great opportunities for your business to be in front of 300 people out to do some good. Contact Shelley Morris to become a ride sponsor – click her name to email, or call (250) 995-6419.

  3. Ride:

     

    A ride just isn’t a ride if there’s no one riding. If you don’t feel you can can captain a team but still want to ride for The Cridge Centre, click here to register: http://ride.w-ith.me/Cridge  

     

  4. Give:

     

    Donate to the Cridge Team at http://ride.w-ith.me/Cridge  

Click here for a ride poster: Ride for Refuge